Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology

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9780070392137: Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology

This revision of the best-selling text for undergraduate courses offered by departments of Psychology in the Psychology of Women, Sex and Gender, or Sex Roles draws on research from sociology, anthropology, communication, biology, history, and literature. Known for its engaging, never oversimplified style, WOMEN AND GENDER features an integrated thematic organization throughout the book that is synthesized in its final chapter.

The authors, well-known, active scholars in the field, take a social constructionist perspective (i.e., gender is a social system of meanings, status, and power, not just a personality characteristic of individuals). The text takes a feminist point of view, advocating basic equality of women and men social, economical, and political while objectively reporting research findings. Information on race, age, class, and sexual orientation, is included and integrated into all text chapters. Four themes are woven throughout the book: Gender is more than just sex; Language and naming are a source of power; Women are a diverse group; and Psychology should be related to social change

In the third edition, the short introductory chapter is now immediately followed by the popular chapter about women stereotypes and the harm they do, while the more theoretical chapter on personality has been integrated into other appropriate chapters and linked to current research and issues in the news. More attention is paid to the role of the media in defining girls and women of all ages. The chapter shows how images of women continue to differ from those of men, examines how the media sees women and men world-wide, and looks at the similarities of these depictions cross-culturally. Each chapter now ends with “Connecting Themes,” summary of how the book’s four themes are played out in the topics of the chapter. Much more material is included in each chapter on the cultural and ethnic diversity of women with added new findings on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, social class, women of color, international issues, and women from around the world. In each chapter, a new “Making a Difference” boxed feature spotlights a woman activist who has changed society. A new chapter four on the meanings of difference asks, “How different are men and women really?” and answers this question in terms of contrasting feminist perspectives, presented in the context of concrete social problems. A new concluding chapter 15, “Making a Difference: Toward a Better Future for Women,” ties together the four themes of the book and presents an optimistic view of both how the women's movement has changed changed society and how students can continue to change society positively in response to the women’s movement.

Other new topics include: analysis of the backlash against feminism (chapter 1); the role of sexism in the schools (chapters 3 and 8); media images of women athletes and the representation of women in rap and music videos (chapter 4); pornography, race, and hostility toward women (chapters 4 and 14); factors influencing women’s perception of their leadership abilities (chapter 5); biological determinism in the media (chapters 3 and 6); the “silencing” of adolescent girls (chapter 8); differences among diverse groups of women in the meaning of sexuality and body image, and implications for therapeutic treatment (chapters 9 and 15); the new reproductive technology and the medical, ethical, and legal issues it raises; woman-headed households; and socially created obstacles to mothering (all in chapter 11); a new synthesis of the costs and benefits of juggling work, family, and relationship roles (chapter 12); changing cultural views of menopause, and achievement in mid- and later life (chapter 13).

A companion reader, In Our Own Words: Readings on the Psychology of Women and Gender, provides thorough coverage of and commitment to the diversity of the female experience in 45 readings that are brief, engaging, and fun to read.

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About the Author:

Mary Crawford is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Connecticut. She has taught the psychology of women and gender for twenty-five years, most of that time at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she earned the Trustee’s Achievement Award for lifetime professional accomplishment. She has also held the Jane W. Irwin Chair in Women’s Studies at Hamilton College, served as Distinguished Visiting Teacher/Scholar at Trenton State College at The College of New Jersey, and directed the graduate program in women’s studies at the University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Delaware. Professor Crawford is a consulting editor of Psychology of Women Quarterly, an associate editor of Feminism and Psychology, and a Fellow of both the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. Mary Crawford has spoken and written about women’s studies issues for audiences as diverse as the British Psychological Society, Ms. Magazine, and the Oprah Winfrey show. Works she has authored or edited include: Gender and Thought: Psychological Perspectives (1989); Talking Difference: On Gender and Language (1995); Gender Differences and Human Cognition (1997); Coming Into Her Own: Education Successes in Girls and Women (1999) and a special double issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly (1999) on innovative methods for feminist research.

Rhoda Unger is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Resident Scholar in Women’s Studies at Brandeis University. She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard University. Professor Unger was the first recipient of the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award from the Division on the Psychology of Women of the American Psychological Association. She is also the recipient of two distinguished publication awards and a recent distinguished career award from the Association for Women in Psychology. She has been the president of the Division of the Psychology of Women and, more recently, president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad as a Fulbright scholar in Israel, a distinguished lecturer at the University of British Columbia, and as a visiting fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is currently the book review editor of the international journal Feminism and Psychology. Professor Unger is the author or editor of seven previous books, including Resisting Gender: Twenty-five Years of Feminist Psychology; Representations: Social Constructions of Gender; Women, Gender, and Social Psychology; and Female and Male. She is currently the first editor of ASAP (Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy), an electronic journal sponsored by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

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