Midlife Crisis  


Midlife Crisis
September 18, 2020 | 280 pages
ISBN: 9780226637143

"This book recounts the surprising origin story of the "midlife crisis." Before becoming a gendered cliché, the midlife crisis gained traction as a feminist concept with the publication of journalist Gail Sheehy's best-selling Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life. Coined by psychoanalyst Elliott Jaques in the 1950s, the term was largely neglected until Sheehy re-invented it as a feminist idea that challenged the double standard of middle age. Widely popular, 'midlife crisis' was subsequently appropriated and redefined as a masculinist concept by psychological and psychiatric experts. Susanne Schmidt's telling reveals the midlife crisis' remarkable role in modern American life: first to valorize the emergence of female breadwinners and dual-income families, then to reassert gender order in times of social change. A must-read"--