Cover image for The sister knot : why we fight, why we're jealous, and why we'll love each other no matter what
Title:
The sister knot : why we fight, why we're jealous, and why we'll love each other no matter what
Author:
Apter, T. E.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Norton, [2007]

©2007
Physical Description:
308 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
An exploration of the intricacy, friction, and love in the bonds between sisters. Relationships between women are often freighted with a rocky mix of emotions--devotion and disregard, affection and loathing, admiration and envy--leading to anguish and confusion on the playground, in the home, and in the boardroom. A woman's experience negotiating her layered feelings toward a sister shapes her psychology as forcefully as do her relationships with her parents. By exploring sisterhoods, Terri Apter reveals their key role in understanding all relationships among women. In a series of interviews, Apter considers the many aspects of the sister relationship from birth through adulthood. The need to fight to differentiate oneself from a sister, as well as the protectiveness one feels for that same person, is explained by reference to extensive psychological and biological evidence.--From publisher description.
Language:
English
Contents:
Why sisters? -- The power of complicated feelings -- Younger sisters and other variations: why sibling trauma is universal -- The sister knot -- Shared minds: empathy and identity between sisters -- "Just like" and "completely different": how sisters find and resist family roles -- Protection and resentment -- Sisters and friends: the interweaving of female bonds -- Group dynamics among sisters -- The power of sister stories -- Success and insecurity: when one sister outshines the other -- Sistering: a lifelong tie.
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780393060584
Format :
Book

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BF723.S43 A67 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

This "substantial contribution to the literature on sibling relationships" (Library Journal) explores the intricacy, friction, and love in bonds between sisters. Relationships between women are often freighted with a rocky mix of emotions--devotion and disregard, affection and loathing, admiration and envy--leading to anguish and confusion on the playground, in the home, and in the boardroom. Negotiating her layered feelings toward a sister shapes a woman's psychology as forcefully as do her relationships with her parents. Drawing on compelling interviews and new research, Terri Apter considers the many aspects of the sister relationship from birth through adulthood. The need to fight to differentiate oneself from a sister, as well the protectiveness one feels for that same person, is explained by reference to extensive psychological and biological evidence.


Author Notes

Terri Apter is a social psychologist and researcher at Cambridge University in England.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sisterly love, Apter (The Myth of Maturity) shows, isn't always pure: to differentiate herself from her older sister Sam, teenager Gina manipulated Sam into gaining weight; Kate's three sisters put aside jealousies and power plays to rally around her after she was raped; and Dorri wrongly accused her lesbian sister, Annette, of having an affair with her husband because a teenage Annette used to steal Dorri's boyfriends. This generic study of the complex ties that bind sisters teaches us that a sister's death is one of the most difficult losses to overcome; women's friendships often mirror the sister bond in both pleasure and pain; elderly sisters provide each other with crucial psychological succor; adult women are passionately invested in their own versions of family stories; and female empathy, when viewed through the sister knot, is revealed as a complicated skill "used for control and denigration as often as for care and protection." Throughout, British psychologist Apter's stodgy prose is brightened by excerpts from interviews she conducted with 76 British and American sisters from 37 families; while her analyses are perceptive, she's also treading on familiar territory without the creativity displayed by a Deborah Tannen or Bruno Bettelheim. (Jan. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Understand the relationship between sisters, and one understands the relationships among women. A Cambridge scholar reports. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. XI
Introduction: Why Sisters?p. 3
Chapter 1 The Power of Complicated Feelingsp. 15
Chapter 2 Younger Sisters and Other Variations: Why the Sibling Trauma Is Universalp. 26
Chapter 3 The Sister Knotp. 40
Chapter 4 Shared Minds: Empathy and Identity Between Sistersp. 63
Chapter 5 "Just Like" and "Completely Different": How Sisters Find and Resist Family Rolesp. 98
Chapter 6 Protection and Resentmentp. 137
Chapter 7 Sisters and Friends: The Interweaving of Female Bondsp. 176
Chapter 8 Group Dynamics Among Sistersp. 203
Chapter 9 The Power of Sister Storiesp. 219
Chapter 10 Success and Insecurity: When One Sister Outshines the Otherp. 237
Chapter 11 Sistering: A Lifelong Tiep. 260
Frequently Asked Questionsp. 272
Notesp. 279
Bibliographyp. 290
Indexp. 299