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Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls


Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls Cover

ISBN13: 9780345392824
ISBN10: 0345392825
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

Why are more American adolescent girls prey to depression, eating disorders, addictions, and suicide attempts than ever before? According to Dr. Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist who has treated girls for more than twenty years, we live in a look-obsessed, media-saturated, "girl-poisoning" culture. Despite the advances of feminism, escalating levels of sexism and violence--from undervalued intelligence to sexual harassment in elementary school--cause girls to stifle their creative spirit and natural impulses, which, ultimately, destroys their self-esteem. Yet girls often blame themselves or their families for this "problem with no name" instead of looking at the world around them.

Here, for the first time, are girls' unmuted voices from the front lines of adolescence, personal and painfully honest. By laying bare their harsh day-to-day reality, Reviving Ophelia issues a call to arms and offers parents compassion, strength, and strategies with which to revive these Ophelias' lost sense of self.

From the Paperback edition.

1. Why are kids having more trouble coming of age in 2000?

2. Discuss the differences in childhood and in parenting between your era and today. What was better, or worse? How can we preserve the best of both eras for our children?

3. How do we build a sense of community in our neighborhoods today? How can we help other people's children? What institutions can help us?

4. How do we balance the need to protect our children with the need to raise them free of unnecessary fear?

5. What useful work do we have for children in our community?

6. What can we do to fight violent and sexualized media and the omnipresence of marketing to children?

7. What experience in adolescence are mostly girls' experiences? What experiences are mostly unique to boys? What issues are shared by both genders?

8. What do you think a typical school day is like in the life of your child? (Your students?)

9. How can schools and families protect girls from eating disorders? How can we hold advertisers and media more accountable for their images of young women?

10. How has our culture changed for girls since Reviving Ophelia was written? Discuss both negative and positive changes.

11. How do computers affect girls' social and emotional development?

12. How can we help girls hold on to their true selves?

13. What role do sports play in girls' development?

14. Why do girls argue so much with their mothers and what can be done about it?

15. How can fathers help their daughters through adolescence?

16. What are the signs of depression in teens and when should a family seek professional help?

17. What guidelines and policies should parents have about their children's friends?

18. How can we keep our teens connected to older and younger people and not isolated in peer culture?

19. What is a good school harassment policy?

20. How do we teach boys to respect women and girls?

21. What are some differences in adolescence across ethnic groups--specifically African-American, Asian, and Hispanic?

22. What is your policy about movies, television, music, and computers? How do you enforce it? What are the relative merits of protecting children from media versus exposing them to media but processing it with them and helping them understand it?

23. How can we teach children to behave properly? 24. How do we teach values to our children?

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orangeflower777, October 15, 2013 (view all comments by orangeflower777)
Reading this work again as part of a college curriculum nearly ten years after having read it as an adolescent girl provided some interesting insight into both Pipher's perspective and the girls whose stories she tells in the highlighted case studies. Though Pipher is limited to a primarily middle and upper class clientele and working in a predominantly white region, she creates a much needed discourse around teen girls experience in the nineties that is still sadly relevant today. Without invoking many of the well known scholars of feminism, Pipher carefully exposes the threads of lookism, sizeism, and sexism (among other variables) that wind through the lives of adolescent girls in our nation. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in doing feminist work with teen girls as a way to focus in on issues that teens are facing, and I would recommend it to any parent trying to prepare themselves to best nurture their daughters through what can be tumultuous and transitional years.
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Product Details

Pipher, Mary
Random House
Mary Pipher, Ph.D.
New York :
Women's Studies
Adolescent Psychology
Adolescent girls
Teenage girls
Self-esteem in adolescence
Self concept.
Self-esteem in adolescence -- Case studies.
Developmental - Adolescent
Parenting - General
Adolescence - General
Adolescencia, Psicologâia de la
Life Stages - Adolescence
Edition Description:
1st Ballantine Books ed.
Series Volume:
no. 96-141
Publication Date:
February 1995
8.26x5.49x.80 in. .61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Parenting Teens
Health and Self-Help » Child Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Child Psychology
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Womens Psychology

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Ballantine Books,1995. - English 9780345392824 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Pipher offers concrete suggestions for ways by which girls can build and maintain a strong sense of self, e.g., keeping a diary, observing their social context as an anthropologist might, distinguishing between thoughts and feelings. Pipher is an eloquent advocate."
"Review" by , "Pipher offers some practical suggestions and strategies for parents to help girls into adulthood with their sense of self intact. She also sounds a wake-up call to parents, urging them to become involved in the lives of their daughters and to change the societal pressures that push girls into crisis situations."
"Review" by , "An important book...Pipher shines high-beam headlights on the world of teenage girls."
"Review" by , "Serious and thoughtful material presented with the fluidity of good fiction — sure to appeal to parents, teachers, and anyone interested in modern American culture."
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