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The Seasons of a Woman's Life: A Fascinating Exploration of the Events, Thoughts, and Life Experiences That All Women Share
     

The Seasons of a Woman's Life: A Fascinating Exploration of the Events, Thoughts, and Life Experiences That All Women Share

by Daniel J. Levinson
 

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Firmly grounded in scientific research, this book reveals that women follow a predictable developmental course through adulthood. Work and marriage relationships, personal crisis, emotional states, and behavior can all be related to this grand pattern. But in the case of women, the situation is made far more complicated by gender biases.


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Overview

Firmly grounded in scientific research, this book reveals that women follow a predictable developmental course through adulthood. Work and marriage relationships, personal crisis, emotional states, and behavior can all be related to this grand pattern. But in the case of women, the situation is made far more complicated by gender biases.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his popular Seasons of a Man's Life (1978), Yale psychology professor Levinson (who died in 1994) postulated that adult men undergo a series of distinct developmental phases separated by calm periods. This sequel, a collaboration with his wife, focuses on women's psychosocial growth from the late teens to middle age (around age 45). It builds on interviews conducted in the early 1980s with 45 subjects-15 New Haven-area homemakers, 15 N.Y.C. corporate-financial career women and 15 academics in the New York-Boston corridor. Not surprisingly, the homemakers found traditional patterns difficult to sustain and often paid a big price in restrictions on self-development; career women experienced considerable stress and difficulty in breaking down barriers in formerly ``male'' occupations and in pushing for a more equitable division of housework. In contrast to the earlier book, this sequel's plodding, academic style and narrower focus may deter some readers, yet the outspoken oral testimonies convey a sense of women negotiating the challenges of career, love, marriage and family. 30,000 first printing. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Levinson's earlier work, The Seasons of a Man's Life (LJ 4/1/78), is a classic of adult development studies. It also has had a profound popular impact as the basis for Gail Sheehy's Passages (LJ 5/15/76), a reworking of Levinson's research. The current book is something of a disappointment. The main thesis-that the 45 women interviewed, like the men in the earlier book, went through alternating periods of tumultuous "structure building" followed by relatively stable "maintenance" periods-is not well supported by the extensive quotations from the women themselves. Instead, they seem to be constantly in the process of defining themselves and their needs and attempting to carve out space for self-expression in lives filled with heavy demands from work and family life. This is not as important a book as The Seasons of a Man's Life but much more thoughtful than Passages. (Sheehy's latest, New Passages, LJ 8/95, concerns the years beyond 50, which Levinson does not cover.) This title, flawed as it is, is recommended for most academic and public libraries since it has few competitors in an area of interest to many patrons.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
Mary Carroll
David Levinson's classic "The Seasons of a Man's Life" (1978) was the first use of the Yale School of Medicine psychology professor's Intensive Biographical Interviewing technique, which was applied to the 45 women studied here in the early 1980s. After years of study, he completed the manuscript shortly before his death in 1994; his wife, with whom he had collaborated, shepherded it into print. This work asks whether there is a human life cycle and a process of adult growth similar to the process of child development, and how gender affects the lives of individual women and women in general. The Levinson team interviewed 15 homemakers, 15 women with corporate-financial careers, and 15 women with academic careers. Their stories are the core of Levinson's book and his evidence for "periods of life structure development" discerned in women's as well as men's lives and for gender-related concepts (such as gender splitting), which he uses to analyze differences in the ways women and men--and women with different pasts and goals--experience the eras of their adult lives. Helpful and" enlightening.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307807144
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/05/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
456
Sales rank:
1,101,241
File size:
2 MB

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