Book Reviews

Book Reviews Sex Roles, Vol. 38, Nos. 5/6, 1998 The Mother’s Voice: Strengthening Intimacy in Families. Kathy Weingarten, New York: Guilford Press, 1997, 241 pp. $16.95 (paperback). This book is extraordinary. On one hand, it is an intellectually rigorous, comprehensive feminist analysis of the components of contemporary mid- dle-class family life in the United States. Veteran family therapist Kathy Weingarten examine s this edifice brick by brick.She begins by considering the impactof marginality on voice. Voice, she says, depends on who is listening, how they are listening, and on the cultural values and attitude s that create a context for both speaker and listeners. For mothers, authentic voice is profoundly constraine d: by the cultural myth that mothers hold the entire responsibility for their chil- dren’s development, by the dichotomous categorizing of mothers into good (selfless, available , patient, always child-focuse d) or bad (sometimes angry, sometimes focused on her own interests and concerns), and by the belief that mothers can and should create a greater sense of order and safety than reality allows. She explores the ways that static concepts of self and developme ntal stage, privile ged over more fluid views of self-as-story and intimacy-as-proce ss, prevent family members Sex Roles Springer Journals

Book Reviews

Sex Roles , Volume 38 (6) – Oct 6, 2004

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 1998 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
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