BROKEN PATTERNS PICKS UP WHERE LEAN IN LEAVES OFF…placing modern professional women, their mothers and their grandmothers, in a remarkable historical context. A must-read for anyone seeking insight into the history and psychology of professional women. Introducing the 2nd Edition, with a new preface and afterword by the author.
Today, women are entering professional careers in unprecedented numbers, and rising to the highest levels in corporations, academe, media and politics. But new books and studies suggest that the movement toward equality of men and women has stalled–in part because some women are opting for domestic–even subservient– roles. What does this mean for the future?
Broken Patterns tells the stories of 40 professional women who entered male-dominated careers in the 1970s and 80s. It places these groundbreaking women, and their mothers and grandmothers in historical context going back to the American Colonial Era. It shows that, in the 19th century and again in the 20th, the more women left the home for paying work in one generation, the greater the societal belief in domesticity for women, in the next.
First published in 1995, Broken Patterns traces the paths of the women interviewed and also professional women’s historic quest to express the qualities they deem “feminine”–yet also achieve equality with men. In the book, author Anita Harris lays out a vision of progress–whether historical, generational, personal or creative–that is not linear nor cyclic, but spiral.
In this spiral process, she writes, “driven by technologic, natural, societal or internal forces, we move forward toward new opportunities. We get just so far, then pull back to reintegrate images, ideas and experiences of the past—building a new basis on which to move forward, once again.”
The 2nd edition, published in 2014, includes interviews with current college women, as well as a new preface and an afterward showing how far women have come since Broken Patterns was first published in 1995.