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For Her Own Good by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English
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For Her Own Good by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English
Paperback $18.00
Jan 04, 2005 | ISBN 9781400078004

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Product Details


“A splendidly bold and readable review of medical, psychological and social theory since the industrial revolution.”—The Guardian (London)
“A landmark work: It changes everything one believed before about doctors, scientists, and all other kinds of patriarchal experts. The most important work on women since The Feminine Mystique.”–Claudia Dreifus, author of Seizing Our Bodies, The Politics of Women’s Health Care

For Her Own Good gives us a perspective on female history, the history of American medicine and psychology, and the history of childhood, unlike any we have had. I have read it with mounting intellectual excitement, underlining, marking pages, arguing form start to finish with its authors in my head. It is humanly and theoretically fascinating, written with clarity, wit, and verve and with a deep concern for the future.”–Adrienne Rich

For Her Own Good . . . uses rationality informed by moral insight to meet the ‘experts’ head-on.”—The Boston Globe

Table Of Contents

Foreword (2004)

ONE In the Ruins of Patriarchy
The Woman Question • The New Masculinism • Feminist and Domestic Solutions • Science and the Triumph of Domesticity


TWO Witches, Healers, and Gentleman Doctors
The Witch Hunts • The Conflict over Healing Comes to America • Healing as a Commodity • The Popular Health Movement • Lady Doctors Join the Competition

THREE Science and the Ascent of the Experts
The Moral Salvation of Medicine • The Laboratory Mystique • Medicine and the Big Money • Exorcising the Midwives


FOUR The Sexual Politics of Sickness
A Mysterious Epidemic • Marriage: The Sexual-Economic Relation • Femininity as a Disease • Men Evolve, Women Devolve • The Dictatorship of the Ovaries • The Uterus vs. the Brain • The Rest Cure • Subverting the Sick Role: Hysteria

FIVE Microbes and the Manufacture of Housework
The Domestic Void • The Romance of the Home • Domestic Scientists Put the House in Order • The Crusade Against Germs • The Manufacture of New Tasks • Feminism Embraces Domestic Science • “Right Living” in the Slums • Domesticity Without the Science

SIX The Century of the Child
Discovery of the Child • The “Child Question” and the Woman Question • The Mothers’ Movement • The Experts Move In

SEVEN Motherhood as Pathology
The Expert Allies with the Child • The Doctors Demand Permissiveness • Libidinal Motherhood • Bad Mothers • “Momism” and the Crisis in American Masculinity • The Obligatory Oedipus Complex • Communism and the Crisis of Overpermissiveness


EIGHT From Masochistic Motherhood to the Sexual Marketplace
Mid-century Masochism • Gynecology as Psychotherapy • Revolt of the Masochistic Mom • The Rise of the Single Girl • Spread of the Singles Culture • Popular Psychology and the Single Lifestyle

Afterword: The End of the Romance (2004)

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