TURNING POINTS by Ellen Goodman


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Amorphous and bloated, this study has been pieced together from interviews with 150 people whose reactions to change were measured by their responses to the pressures of modern sex-role confusions. With a sense of dull predictability, journalist Ellen Goodman categorizes the complete scale of changes in such terms as featherweight (""those which are really familiar, more of the same""), lightweight (""gradual, easy growth""), middle range (""a sense of expansion""), and heavyweight (""full-scale crisis""). Similarly, people's reactions to changes tend to make them ""change innovators,"" ""change resisters,"" or hallowed members of ""the new middleground."" Those in the last category supposedly combine the best of both worlds because they value the stability and security of tradition while responding to the exciting opportunities presented by the specter of change; and it is the middlegrounders, Goodman asserts, who will tip the scales that determine just how permanent any social change may be. The men and women (largely middle-class women) who spin their yarns are little more than skeletal forms--41-year-old divorcees who suddenly discover that they're ""persons,"" etc. Brief discussions with Marabel Morgan and Phyllis Schafly also reflect the confusion of two women embroiled in conflict between tradition and change; Goodman's feminist leanings are most evident in her questioning of these subjects. Other books have come to grips with the subject of change, and specifically of sex-role changes; this one never connects.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday