Rapunzel's Daughters: What Women's Hair Tells Us about Women's Lives

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005 - Social Science - 273 pages
The first book to explore the role of hair in women's lives and what it reveals about their identities, intimate relationships, and work lives
Hair is one of the first things other people notice about us--and is one of the primary ways we declare our identity to others. Both in our personal relationships and in relationships with the larger world, hair sends an immediate signal that conveys messages about our gender, age, social class, and more.
In "Rapunzel's Daughters," Rose Weitz first surveys the history of women's hair, from the covered hair of the Middle Ages to the two-foot-high, wildly ornamented styles of pre-Revolutionary France to the purple dyes worn by some modern teens. In the remainder of the book, Weitz, a prominent sociologist, explores--through interviews with dozens of girls and women across the country--what hair means today, both to young girls and to women; what part it plays in adolescent (and adult) struggles with identity; how it can create conflicts in the workplace; and how women face the changes in their hair that illness and aging can bring. "Rapunzel's Daughters" is a work of deep scholarship as well as an eye-opening and personal look at a surprisingly complex-and fascinating-subject.

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RAPUNZEL'S DAUGHTERS: What Women's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives

User Review  - Kirkus

A sociologist looks at why hair matters so much and what our concerns about hair have to say about who we are, as well as who we hope to be.In researching her subject, Weitz (Sociology/Arizona State ... Read full review

Rapunzel's daughters: what women's hair tells us about women's lives

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

From long blond curls to involuntary baldness, Weitz (sociology, Arizona State Univ.) considers the role that hair plays in women's lives. She opens with a brief history of women's hair and then ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Rose Weitz, Professor of Sociology and of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University, received her doctoral degree in Sociology from Yale University. Her research focuses on gender, health, sexuality, and the body. She is co-author of the textbook Essentials of Sociology and is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including the books Life with AIDS, The Politics of Women's Bodies, and Rapunzel's Daughters: What Women's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives. Professor Weitz has won several teaching awards (including the Pacific Sociological Association Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, the ASU Last Lecture Award, and the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award) and has served in past years as Director of ASU's graduate and undergraduate sociology programs. In addition, she has served as President of Sociologists for Women in Society, Chair of the Sociologists AIDS Network, and Chair of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

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