Books by Suzanna Danuta Walters

Released: June 3, 2014

"An enlightening examination of identity and the quest for 'deep freedom' by a largely misunderstood and marginalized group."
The limits of tolerance and why it isn't enough. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 11, 2001

"A frenetic packing of materials that leaves in-depth analysis mostly sacrificed for a panoramic view—but the resulting picture nevertheless emerges as detailed and refined."
Should gays and lesbians exult in the recent spate of media depictions of their lives or shudder at the homogenized sterilization of their diversity? Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

If mother-daughter relationships are socially rather than psychologically or biologically constructed, then the sources of the common paradigms of bonding/separation, love/hate, enmeshment/autonomy are to be found, according to Walters (Sociology, Georgetown Univ.), in films, TV shows, and magazines. ``Mother-bashing,'' Walters says, has dominated these media since the end of WW II, with daughters growing up through rebellion or self-destruction—encouraged, ironically, by the women's movement that blamed ``mom'' for being neglectful and not nurturing, as well as for being a victim, the symbol of what modern women should hold in contempt. The mother-daughter relationship itself, Walters notes, was overshadowed in the 80's by mother-son syndromes, reappearing in the ``backlash eighties'' as an inevitable and natural conflict. Because men are threatened by the mother-daughter relationship, their patriarchal psychology—Freud and his heirs—encourages this plot based on reflection, opposition, and conflict. Walters believes that the actual mother- daughter relationship is far more complex than popular culture has depicted it, and that, ideally, it is a nurturing relationship based on mutuality, reciprocity, and humor—as in the TV sitcom Maude. Through her comprehensive—if repetitious and excessively analytical—study, Walters raises seminal questions about the relationship between art and life. But what she fails to see is that popular culture reflects what writers and producers experience, or believe most people experience, and what sponsors will pay for—i.e., an often biased and commercial truth, as the section on the ``reality'' of black women illustrates. (Photographs—not seen.) Read full book review >