Broken Patterns 2nd Edition to launch March, 2014, for Women’s History Month
NEWS FROM CAMBRIDGE COMMON PRESS
February 25, 2014, Cambridge, MA— A new edition of Broken Patterns, Professional Women and the Quest for a New Feminine Identity will be launched on March 1, 2014, in honor of Women’s History Month, Cambridge Common Press announced today.
Broken Patterns, by award-winning journalist Anita M. Harris, traces the experiences of 40 American professional women who entered male-dominated careers in the 1970s and 1980s. Placing these groundbreaking women in generational context along with their mothers and grandmothers, the book outlines a “push-pull” pattern of historical development going back to the Colonial period in America.
In the 19th century and again in the 20th, Harris writes, the more women left the home for paying work in one generation, the deeper the societal belief in domesticity for women in the next. Most of the women she interviewed had grandmothers who worked outside the home in the early 1900s–and mothers who were homemakers in the 1950s.
In light of the struggles of today’s working women to balance careers and families, Harris asks, what does this “pull-pull” dynamic portend for the future?
Unlike several new books arguing that women’s quest for equality has stalled, Harris takes a hopeful view, suggesting that “ progress is not linear, nor cyclic, but spiral.” As individuals and as a society, she writes, “we push forward toward a goal, reach an impasse, pull back to retrieve and reintegrate aspects and values of the past, building new frameworks in which to move forward, once again.”
The new edition includes stories of present day college students and recent graduates, a new preface and an afterword assessing how far women have come since Broken Patterns was originally published, in 1995. It will be of special interest to women now entering the workplace because it shows how the experiences of mothers and grandmothers influence young women’s life decisions.
NPR Reporter and author Margot Adler calls the book “A splendid study of professional women.”