Revising Herself

Revising Herself : The Story of Women's Identity from College to Midlife

3.37 (16 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

In 1972, Ruthellen Josselson was a young psychologist fascinated by the riddle of how a woman creates an identity and chooses one path over another in life - particularly in the face of the nascent feminist movement, which challenged as never before the traditional role models of earlier generations. Selecting at random thirty young women in their last year of college, Josselson undertook a ground-breaking study that would follow these women's personal odysseys over the next twenty-two years, from graduation to midlife. With stunning candor and hard-won insight, the "ordinary" (and anonymous) women in Josselson's study reveal how much more complex and interesting real women's lives are than the one-dimensional stereotypes often portrayed in the media. Dismissing a traditional "stage theory" of development as overly simplistic, Josselson identifies four trajectories that women take from adolescence to adulthood. Guardians are the "good girls" - high achieving and committed to fulfilling their family's expectations, but rigid in outlook and resistant to change. Pathmakers are not afraid of risk or commitment, striving to balance their own needs with others'. The often idealistic Searchers are overwhelmed by choice and unable to make commitments, while Drifters live only for the moment, avoiding choice and an exploration of identity. Reflecting the degree to which women take risks, make choices, and form commitments, these paths form a foundation for adulthood - but they also lead to surprises: at midlife, Guardians seem strikingly able to "cut loose" from earlier traditional patterns, while many Drifters have "found themselves, " sometimes in quite traditional ways. And coming of age justas the feminist movement gathered momentum, the women in Josselson's study were the first to confront many contemporary issues not faced by their mothers, or their mothers' mothers. How does an Irish Catholic contemplate an abortion? How does a woman whose parents believe educatishow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 135.9 x 203.7 x 16.5mm | 298.59g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195121155
  • 9780195121155
  • 1,643,432

Review quote

"Anyone, male or female, who has asked the question Who am I?' will benefit from Josselson's penetrating insights."--Salem Pressshow more

About Professor of Psychology Ruthellen Josselson

Ruthellen Josselson is Professor of Psychology at Towson State University and is a practicing psychotherapist.show more

Rating details

16 ratings
3.37 out of 5 stars
5 6% (1)
4 31% (5)
3 56% (9)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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