In this book, Sheila Greene presents a challenging new perspective on the psychological development of girls and women which emphasises the central role of time in human development. She critically reviews traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches - ranging from orthodox psychoanalysis to relational and post-modern theories - and argues that even those claiming to be focused on development have presented a view of women's lives as fixed and determined by their nature or their past. These theories, she believes, should be rejected because of their inherent lack of validity and their frequently oppressive implications for women. Greene's approach places primary importance on temporality itself and on the competing discourses on time, age and development which play an active role in the construction of the lives of girls and women. Essential but often neglected insights from the more compelling developmental and feminist theories are woven together within a theoretical framework that emphasises temporality, emergence and human agency.
The result is a liberating theory of women's psychological development as constantly emerging and changing in time rather than as static and fixed by their nature, socio-cultural context and personal history. The Psychological Development of Girls and Women will be essential reading for students and researchers in the psychology of women, developmental psychology and women's studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Building Blocks for a Critical Analysis. Lifespan Developmental Psychology: Some Promising Perspectives. Female Development: Traditional Approaches. Women-centered Developmental Theories. Biology and the Changing Body. The Making of the Female Self. Social Change and Social Clocks. Thinking about Time and the Psychological Development of Girls and Women: A New Synthesis.
Sheila Greene is a senior lecturer in psychology at Trinity College Dublin and co-founder and Chair of its Children's Research Centre. Her research interests cover developmental psychology, the psychology of women and the psychology of the person.