The Anti‐Feminist Reconstruction of the Midlife Crisis: Popular Psychology, Journalism and Social Science in 1970s USA

The Anti‐Feminist Reconstruction of the Midlife Crisis: Popular Psychology, Journalism and... It seems almost impossible to say anything new about the midlife crisis. Some of the countless books and articles on the topic tackle men's midlife crises and women's; offer a personal report, a theologian's view and a Jungian perspective; discuss the midlife crisis in apes and at age twenty, and how to avoid or enjoy it; or refute it as a myth and cliché. Yet for all the apparent variety of this rather repetitive literature, the history of this pivotal concept of psychological culture has never been told.To be sure, most midlife crisis literature includes a brief origin story. Often presented in introductory remarks or brief asides, these mini‐histories are characterised by a consensus that is remarkable given their informality. One professor of psychology writes:The midlife crisis started out very innocently with the less hyped‐up name of ‘midlife transition.’ A Yale psychologist named Daniel Levinson published a book . . . called [The] Seasons of a Man's Life . . . The midlife crisis got its punchy name with the aid of journalist Gail Sheehy, who published her own book (Passages), based heavily on Levinson's own work.Whether a text is journalistic or academic, approving or dismissive of midlife crisis, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender & History Wiley

The Anti‐Feminist Reconstruction of the Midlife Crisis: Popular Psychology, Journalism and Social Science in 1970s USA

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0953-5233
eISSN
1468-0424
D.O.I.
10.1111/1468-0424.12344
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It seems almost impossible to say anything new about the midlife crisis. Some of the countless books and articles on the topic tackle men's midlife crises and women's; offer a personal report, a theologian's view and a Jungian perspective; discuss the midlife crisis in apes and at age twenty, and how to avoid or enjoy it; or refute it as a myth and cliché. Yet for all the apparent variety of this rather repetitive literature, the history of this pivotal concept of psychological culture has never been told.To be sure, most midlife crisis literature includes a brief origin story. Often presented in introductory remarks or brief asides, these mini‐histories are characterised by a consensus that is remarkable given their informality. One professor of psychology writes:The midlife crisis started out very innocently with the less hyped‐up name of ‘midlife transition.’ A Yale psychologist named Daniel Levinson published a book . . . called [The] Seasons of a Man's Life . . . The midlife crisis got its punchy name with the aid of journalist Gail Sheehy, who published her own book (Passages), based heavily on Levinson's own work.Whether a text is journalistic or academic, approving or dismissive of midlife crisis,

Journal

Gender & HistoryWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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