WOMEN AND THE FUTURE: Changing Sex Roles in Modern America by Janet Zollinger Giele

WOMEN AND THE FUTURE: Changing Sex Roles in Modern America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Giele, who served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation Task Force on women's fights, has effectively digested a wide-ranging body of research on the future of sex roles in America. Convinced that the women's movement has sparked nothing less than a major social revolution embracing politics, work, education, the family, and our own cultural images, she sees the merging of traditional male and female priorities as essential to society's survival (""Nothing less than a new social contract is at issue""). In the realm of politics, women are gradually becoming ""resocialized"" to involvement at increasingly more powerful levels; in the world of work, women will be helped by emerging ""alternative economic values"" that emphasize ""localized production and dispersed communities"" (a far more radical approach than simple reliance on affirmative action). A new flexibility of approach to family roles allowing ""crossover between male and female roles,"" as well as escalating community concern with family-support programs, points to a ""greater rationalization of family life,"" while educational structures are struggling to incorporate the humanistic and expressive values characteristic of women with their traditional instrumental values. Finally, our ""ideal images"" in religion, the arts, and the media are abandoning sexual stereotyping in favor of an ""androgynous ideal"" of adult behavior that combines ""power, discipline, and intellectual strength with vulnerability, fecundity or fruitfulness, and a capacity for rich and complex emotions."" A timely perspective on current fragmentations that may lead to a more integrated social fabric.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Free Press/Macmillan