Facing the Mirror: Older Women and Beauty Shop Culture

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Overview

This innovative, ethnographic study of a neighborhood beauty salon investigates how customers constitute a lively, affirming community of peers during their weekly visits. Facing the Mirror gives voice to older women, who, in a sexist and ageist society, are frequently devalued and rendered invisible. These older, mostly Jewish women articulate their experiences of bodily self-presentation, femininity, aging, and caring pertaining to their lives within and outside Julie's International Salon. This book explores the socio-moral significance of these experiences which reveals as much about society as about older women themselves. Women's narratives expose structures of power, inequality, and resistance in the ways women perceive reality, make choices and live in their worlds.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An ethnographic study of the community centered on Julie's International Salon in Chicago. The book focuses on the perspectives of aging women who frequent the salon and their ideas about bodily self-preservation, femininity, aging, and caring for and about themselves and others. Furman (religious studies, DePaul U.) uses the women's accounts as a springboard for discussing ageism, power, inequality, and resistance. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415915236
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Frida Kerner Furman is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University and is author of Beyond Yiddishkeit: The Struggle for Jewish Identity in a Reform Synagogue.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Women's Territory: Community and the Ethic of Care at Julie's International Salon 17
2 The Witch in the Mirror: Feminine Beauty and Its Imperatives 43
3 "What's My Alternative?": Aging and Its Challenges 91
4 "The Cheese Stands Alone": Women in Relation to Work, Caring, and the Family 123
5 Energetic Anger: An Invitation to Resistance 167
Notes 187
Works Cited 203
Index 215
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