THE SPLIT-LEVEL TRAP by

THE SPLIT-LEVEL TRAP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a popularization of a study on suburban mental problems made by the Gordons five years ago in Bergen County, N.J. The thesis of the book is that life in suburbia is more stressful than life in small towns far from industrial centers. Moreover the problems which are peculiar to suburbia can be attributed mainly to its economy-a job-hopping, climbing, middle-class, consumption-conscious way of life. Using a case history method the authors examine the special difficulties of various groups: young wives, commuting husbands, children and adolescents, the single, middle-aged and older people. They then discuss ""nine techniques"" through which the composite, fictional characters of the case histories were helped to adjust emotionally. In a final section they offer some advice for coping with the fragmentation of ""Disturbia's"" mobile kind of life. This includes greater emphasis on education, more integration of social organizations, alteration of current social ""values"" and more interchange of the roles of man and woman. The problems of suburban living are real problems but it's difficult to see how they can be ameliorated by this condescending, watered-down, superficial presentation.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1960
Publisher: Bernard Geis