I May Understand You, but You Still Don't Get It: Mothers and Daughters (or Daughters and Mothers) in Conversation

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Abstract

Reviews the book, You're Wearing THAT? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation by Deborah Tannen (see record 2006-01808-000). In her recent book, Tannen tackles the second largest population to misunderstand each other. The first are men and women. The second are mothers and daughters. Although Tannen notes that much of her analyses may be applied to general parent-child discourse (p. 5), the book focuses on mothers and daughters, and Tannen herself comments on the unique psychological loading that this relationship bears. Her goal is to provide mothers and daughters with an understanding of the other's point of view and offer concrete suggestions for improvement. The book outlines multiple sources for miscommunication, which can be grouped into two main categories: the medium (e.g., phone vs. face-to-face) and the content (e.g., hairstyle, clothes, behavior). The sources of the conflict (which is so existential, one is tempted to capitalize it: The Conflict) are three. These issues are presented clearly and supported by narrative and anecdotes from contributing mothers and daughters. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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