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Alexis J. Walker

In: Gender, Families, and Close Relationships: Feminist Research Journeys

Chapter 4: You Can't Be a Woman in Your Mother's House: Adult Daughters and Their Mothers

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You Can't Be a Woman in Your Mother's House: Adult Daughters and Their Mothers
You can't be a woman in your mother's house: Adult daughters and their mothers
Alexis J.Walker

According to a grandmother in Apfel and Seitz's (1991, p. 426) study of African American adolescent daughters and their mothers, “You can't be a woman in your mother's house.” Although the statement was made by a very young grandmother—the mother of an adolescent mother—it captures one of the fundamental issues in the relationships between adult daughters and their mothers: autonomy. Ideally each woman must have a sense of individuality and uniqueness. This is as true for the older generation—the mother—as it is for the younger—the daughter. Two prominent feminist theorists have written about the issue of autonomy ...

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