Excellent book, perhaps with a little too much over reliance on Fraud but then again, it has enough distance and reflection to create something much more tastier. One feminist book standing the test of time, as Chodorow has eschewed the myopia of ideology to delve into the basics and overturn one sacred table.
Psychology, psychotherapy was originally written from an unreflected man's perspective, without any reflection on how these norms arose. Chodorow digs deeper into the various assumptions to ask some key questions.
How is empathy formed?
Is it genetic? Is it an unfolding drive or is it socially constructed from the initial bond between mother and child?
Then how does this bond work? Individalism is perceived as a key requirement for both male and female children, to be able to stand on ones own feet. It is the mark of a man and to some extent a woman, a person of independence and individuality.
Nancy Chodorow focuses on basic foundational thinking, reflecting on how these ideas formed. As she reflects it becomes much more complex than the original hypothesis as the role of the social, father, families, patriachical values all pull the emotional tug this way, then that, then up and down. The result is the type of society we have constructed. Nancy posits the fundamental need for love as an adult to be emotionally anchored, reconstructing the initial dyad bond, as the the other human dynamics flow into the building blocks of this relationship.
The mother child bond is a unique bond, as she posits the child extends from the woman as an extra leg/arm a physical piece that is cut at birth and then grows by itself through nourishment and love to a stage of becoming an independent being. Therefore women have a different psychology to men.
The insights may appear obvious but that's only because people such as Nancy did the detective work. However reading the book brings out far more complexity than a flippant Amazon review.
If you want to weigh yourself against expectation versus reality, this book will provide the scales. What arises afterwars requires belief, fortitude and courage as empathy will only be realised in engaging in acts of love rather than lust, conquering, earning, avenging, obliterating and progenitating.