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Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition

by Bateson, Mary Catherine

  • ISBN: 9780375501012
  • ISBN10: 0375501010

Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition

by Bateson, Mary Catherine

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish date: 03/14/2000
  • ISBN: 9780375501012
  • ISBN10: 0375501010
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Description: We live with strangers, not only in the streets and in the workplace but in the home. Commitment and love do not guarantee understanding and parents, partners, and children constantly surprise us, revealing the need to learn where we thought we were most at home. In this century alone, the average life cycle has undergone profound changes and women's lives, in particular, are radically different from a few generations ago. Quite simply, traditional roles and assumptions no longer predict behavior. There are great differences between us -- even when we belong to the same family, race, class or sex. How can we find the familiar amid such multiplicity? How can we know ourselves or each other when our lives demand constant adaptation, learning and reinvention?

Bateson argues that home is the best place to learn to deal with difference and that learning to communicate across generations is the key to understanding the vast possibilities life has to offer. Bateson explores this theme through her Life Histories seminar at Spelman college where she introduces us to a remarkable and varied cast of women, from "the elders, " who include grandmothers, divorced businesswomen, and Spelman's own president, to undergraduates wrestling with questions of sexuality, identity, expectation, and fulfillment. The members of the group talk about the transitions in their lives, their ties of family, their hopes and choices. Bateson combines their lives with life histories from around the world -- from Kung tribeswoman, to sharecroppers and recent immigrants, to her own mother Margaret Mead - to show the commonality between experiences which may, at first, seem very different and to demonstrate how evolvingdefinitions of wisdom, commitment, and learning can speak to a new common understanding for us all.

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