The New Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship

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9780415926300: The New Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship
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First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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Paula Caplan is Professor of Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

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At least since Freud, mothers have borne the brunt of blame for many of their family members' personal problems, defects and failures. But even cynics may be stunned by Caplan's documentation of a mother who was labeled "hysterical" and lost custody of her children after she accused their father of sexually abusing them. Many such injustices are highlighted in this edition, substantially revised from the 1988 original, building a solid case for Caplan's claim of widespread "mother-blaming." As cultural scapegoats, mothers are often viewed and treated by influential "experts" as unstable, emotionally needy, selflessly giving, smothering and tyrannically powerful. Caplan outlines 10 pervasive myths wherein all mothers are deemed either "perfect" or "bad," a double bind perhaps best illustrated by the myth that both working and stay-at-home moms are somehow "wrong." Fathers are in for a bit of culpability here, but Caplan doesn't offer many solutions for the problems that people often blame on their mothers. Instead, she concentrates on political arguments and rehabilitating the mother-daughter relationship itself. She encourages the daughter to "demythologize" her mother and forge an alliance by, among other things, drawing out her mother's life story and finding qualities to respect in her. Though some of the author's suggestions, including her "expressive training" in which mothers and daughters resolve problems through role-playing, may be simplistic, Caplan effectively articulates an indisputable societal offense and offers the first steps toward its remedy. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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