Meeting at the Crossroads

Overview

On the way to womanhood, what does a girl give up? For five years, Lyn Mikel Brown and Carol Gilligan, asking this question, listened to one hundred girls who were negotiating the rough terrain of adolescence. This book invites us to listen, too, and to hear in these girls' voices what is rarely spoken, often ignored, and generally misunderstood: how the passage out of girlhood is a journey into silence, disconnection, and dissembling, a troubled crossing that our culture has plotted with dead ends and detours. ...
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Overview

On the way to womanhood, what does a girl give up? For five years, Lyn Mikel Brown and Carol Gilligan, asking this question, listened to one hundred girls who were negotiating the rough terrain of adolescence. This book invites us to listen, too, and to hear in these girls' voices what is rarely spoken, often ignored, and generally misunderstood: how the passage out of girlhood is a journey into silence, disconnection, and dissembling, a troubled crossing that our culture has plotted with dead ends and detours. In the course of their research, Brown and Gilligan developed a Listener's Guide - a method of following the pathways of girls' thoughts and feelings, of distinguishing what girls are saying by the way they say it. We witness the struggle girls undergo as they enter adolescence only to find that what they feel and think and know can no longer be said directly. We see them at a cultural impasse, and listen as they make the painful, necessary adjustments, outspokenness giving way to circumspection, self-knowledge to uncertainty, authority to compliance. These changes mark the edge of adolescence as a watershed in women's psychological development, a time of wrenching disjunctions between body and psyche, voice and desire, self and relationship. Brown and Gilligan open their method to us and share their discoveries as they encourage girls at different ages to speak about themselves in conversation with women. They follow some of these girls over time, listening to changes in their distinct voices from one year to the next, addressing their successes and failures as they confront one barrier after another. This groundbreaking work offers major new insights into girls' development and women's psychology. But perhaps more importantly, it provides women with the means of meeting girls at the critical crossroads of adolescence, of harkening to the voices of girlhood and sustaining their sell-affirming notes.

A groundbreaking work offering major new insights into girls' development and women's psychology. Just as important, this book provides women with the means of meeting girls at the critical crossroads of adolescence, of harkening to the voices of girlhood and sustaining their self-affirming notes.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
During the course of five years, the authors interviewed 100 girls, listening on several defined levels to gain understanding of what happens as identity develops during adolescence. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674731820
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Lyn Mikel Brown is Associate Professor of Education and Human Development at Colby College.

Carol Gilligan is University Professor at the New York University School of Law.

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Table of Contents

1 A Journey of Discovery 1
The Underground 7
2 The Harmonics of Relationship 18
Centering on Voice 21
A Listener's Guide 25
Voicing Resistance 31
3 Whistle-Blowers in the Relational World: Three Guides through Childhood 42
Jessie: The Tyranny of Nice and Kind 53
Sonia: Genuine Relationship, Real Conversation 62
Lauren: Play and Courage 73
4 Approaching the Wall: Three Guides into Adolescence 89
Noura: Knowing and Not Knowing 108
Judy: Losing Her Mind 123
Victoria: Building a Shield 141
5 Rivers into the Sea: Three Guides through Adolescence 163
Anna: A Political Resister 185
Neeti: The Perfect Girl 195
Liza: Cover Girl 203
6 Dancing at the Crossroads 216
Women and Girls 220
Notes 235
References 245
Index 253
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