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The Feminine Mystique - Chapter 6, The Functional Freeze, the Feminine Protest, and Margaret Mead Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 6, The Functional Freeze, the Feminine Protest, and Margaret Mead Summary

Rather than destroying old prejudices against women, social science bestowed new authority on them. In the twenty years before Friedan wrote this book, behavior science professionals met in seminars and began to work together to reinterpret Freudian concepts in light of cultural processes. However, rather than filtering out cultural bias from Freud's theories, they tried to fit their observations into a Freudian rubric. This effort combined with the concept of functionalism had a chilling effect on American women of this generation.

Functionalism attempted to make the social sciences more credible by studying the institutions of society as if they were parts of a social body, as in biology. Institutions were studied in terms of their function in society. The term woman's role was given the specific value of wife...

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