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Toward a New Psychology of Women Paperback – April 2, 1987


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Monumental in its innovative--possibly revolutionary--restructuring of our psychodynamic understanding of women. --Alexandra G. Kaplan, Contemporary Psychology

About the Author

Jean Baker Miller, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and founding director of the Jean Beaker Miller Training Institute, a division of the Stone Center at Wellesley College.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 2 edition (April 2, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807029092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807029091
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Doug Adams (coach@dougadams.com) on June 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
Jean Baker Miller has done a magnificient job of illustrating major developmental issues for men and women. The title is deceiving, because it doesn't express the power and depth of her thinking as it applies to both genders.
A major contribution, by the author, is her recognition of the roles of dominants and subordinates. This phenomenon appears in almost all aspects of our lives. People in either role learn, the important concept is to understand what they learn. Jean Baker Miller focused on the role of men and women as they fulfill this dominant, subordinate relationship and the learning that stems from these roles.
When I read her book it was like I was standing in front of a full-length mirror that reflected a picture of my emotional state. I was able to see that my emotional state was half empty. My feminine qualities had been forced from my being, and I was unhappily overrun by my masculine self. Her book allowed me a map from which to start to reintegrate the feminine into my being. It allowed me to cry for the isolation of my masculine self and welcome the strength of my feminine. The reflections I received helped me rearrange my values to allow myself to be both empathetic and strong. In one sense it allowed me to understand my own intelligence. I defined my intelligence as the energy created by the unbroken path between my heart and mind. Intelligence is the product of this synergistic connection. When this connection is blocked or broken my intelligence is not in force.
My work with leaders in organizations is strongly influenced by the discoveries I made will reading this book. I hope you take the time to reflect on these difficult, but crucial issues.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
This small and important book gives a timeless and cogent description of the dynamics between dominants and subordinates. Though the examples are specific to the relationships between men and women, the model offered stands up in an examination of dominant/subordinate relationships between any two groups or individuals. I discovered my own relationship with my sister (and vestiges of the dominant/subordinate in our relationship continue well into our adulthood). Continuously in print since 1976, Miller's little book is destined to remain in print as a classic, yet with a tiny bit of promotion from the publisher, it could easily become a current bestseller.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Cindy L. on February 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic. In the foreword to the 1986 edition, psychiatrist Jean Baker Miller mentioned her reasons for writing this groundbreaking book that was first published in 1976. First, in her work with women, she noticed that women had psychological strengths that they didn't seem to recognize or appreciate. Second, she was concerned that the model of the "new" woman seemed to be based on a male model, as if that were the only model of a complete person. Miller's goal was to "recognize, re-define and understand the day-to-day experience of women and to show how the mental and emotional lives of individual women reflect the social and political system" (back cover). She highlighted the need for change by describing the psychological damage that can result from unequal status and power in relationships. Although Miller focused on male and female relationships, the same outcome occurs whenever one or more groups are considered subordinate to the dominant group(s) because of such differences as race, sex, class, nationality, or religion; everyone involved is hurt by the inability to be authentic and complete. I appreciated her even-handed and realistic approach to differences: "Differences are a source of strength for each of us-so long as they are not used against us" (p. 136). Almost 30 years later, this landmark work continues to illuminate the problems caused by unequal relationships and opportunities for growth, which could explain why it can still be found in most bookstores.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KK on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is concise and well written (only about 150 pages). I enjoy reading it. Excellent analysis of the nature of influence a dominant group has on a subservient group. Issues are still relevant now. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
When first published, this was a truly revolutionary work. Jean Baker Miller seeks to help the reader understand the mental and emotional lives through the lens of day-to-day experience.

The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis wrote of this book, "Should be read and re-read again and again because of its monumental importance." The Boston Globe wrote, "This small book may do more to suggest the range and scope of female possibilities than anything since Women's Suffrage." The New York Times book review told readers, "It may help to change your life, not without risk, but without despair." I concur with all of these reviewers.

Jean Baker Miller and the writers from the Stone Center have made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the growth and development of women. Other highly recommended related works includeWomen's Growth in Connection: Writings from the Stone Center and Women's Growth in Diversity: More Writings from the Stone Center.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the psychology of women; essential reading for all psychotherapists.
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