DAUGHTERS AND MOTHERS: Mothers and Daughters by Signe Hammer

DAUGHTERS AND MOTHERS: Mothers and Daughters

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This is just a ground-breaker in an area of psychology that no one's cared much about until now, since Western culture tends to place all relationships in a social matrix that is male-dominated. Yet the mother-daughter relationship is, according to Freud, the primary one from which the more clearly understood father-daughter relationship is developed. Ultimately, it is the source of the female identity. Signe Hammer, who previously edited a collection of essays on Women: Body and Culture, interviewed a series of women who talked about pregnancy as a time of reassessing their feelings about their status as daughters, about adolescence in terms of competition between the two generations, about their sense of identification with and dependency on their mothers--and how that can lead to a permanent sense of not owning one's body, about manipulative behavior and double messages re marriage and/or work. Her subjects are quoted at length, but this is not a theoretical work nor does it attempt to be comprehensive. Likely enough it's the author's initial working through of her own filial/ maternal nature which provides the direction and framework for her inquiries. They seem a little haphazard--the interest comes and goes--but every daughter of every mother is bound to find something here to prime the consciousness pump.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.