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Broken Patterns

Professional Women and the Quest for a New Feminine Identity

Anita M. Harris

Women's Studies

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Published: June 1995
ISBN: 9780814325513
Pages: 224 Size: 6x9

In Broken Patterns, Anita Harris reveals how a powerful mother-daughter dynamic has shaped the experience of professional women in America. Using a unique approach that integrates personal interviews and historical and psychological research, she examines the complex relationships women share with their mothers and grandmothers and considers how those relationships and society's changing attitudes affect women's roles. Tracing the roles of working women from the Colonial Era to the present, Harris describes a powerful push-pull dynamic between mothers and daughters. The book suggests that women will continue to move forward—and take steps back—to make their own way, each incorporating and surpassing the hopes and dreams of generations past to create a new feminine identity.

Anita Harris, president of Harris Media Associates, a communications consulting firm in the Boston area, has reported for the MacNeil Lehrer Report, Newsday, and public radio. She has taught at Yale University, Harvard University, and Simmons College.

This is a splendid study of professional women-their current dilemmas and choices, as well as an eye-opening history of working women since Puritan times. Anita Harris's portrait of these women is breathtaking in its complexity. Debates which have become politicized and ideological are handled here with great fairness. We see a larger, richer reality when we encounter these women's ideas, relationships, and histories.

– National Public Radio