Strong Mothers, Weak Wives: The Search for Gender Equality / Edition 1

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A leading theorist in the sociology of sex and gender, Miriam Johnson establishes as her starting point the belief that inequality is not inherent or inevitable in heterosexual relations.
In Strong Mothers, Weak Wives she develops this notion by examining how gender differences get translated into gender inequalities and how this process relates to the structure of the nuclear family and to the social organization of modern societies.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With the intent of describing ``. . . some connections that run so deep they go unnoticed in our everyday lives,'' Johnson tracks the perpetuation of male dominance through the institution of marriage. Specifically, she sees daughters learning from their fathers how to be subordinate wives and sees mothering, otherwise a source of strength, diminished by its control by men. Her analysis is perceptive, even brilliant, and her arguments persuasive. The result compares favorably with such important works as Jean Baker Miller's Toward A New Psychology of Women (Beacon, 1986. 2d. ed.) and Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice (Harvard Univ. Pr., 1982). A scholarly and well-written monograph; highly recommended. Kathryn Hammell Carpenter, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520061620
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/1990
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Miriam M. Johnson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
1. Introduction 1
2. The Question of Difference 16
3. Defining Difference: Psychological Perspectives 44
4. Women's Mothering and Male Misogyny 71
5. Mothers versus the Male Peer Group 96
6. Fathers and Difference 128
7. Freud, the Oedipus Complex, and Feminism 157
8. Psychoanalysis and the Making of Mothers into Wives 186
9. Women as Wives: Cultural and Historical Variations 221
10. Mothers as Wives in an Individualistic Society 246
Notes 271
References 299
Index 329
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