While women have been described in various disciplines as the kin keepers of family relationships, empirical data show that the greatest rivalry in newly constructed heterosexual families exists between two women: the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. Numerous rituals are employed across cultures in order to ease the expected tension between these two rival women. Yet, the topic seems to have been overlooked by feminist and family therapy research alike. Inspired by Bowen's (1978) concept of differentiation of self and Linn's (1998) and Gilligan's (Linn & Gilligan, 1990) ideas of the resisting self, the present study examines these female rivals as moral critics in the war zone of the family. The study sample consists of 14 mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, and sons/husbands, belonging to five Israeli families of diverse cultural origin. Gilligan's Listening Guide was used to assess how participants saw the dilemmas of their situation, adopted a critical distance, and formed an authoritative moral voice.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy|
|State||Published - Dec 2020|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors wants to thank the Yad Susan Foundation.
© 2021 Australian Association of Family Therapy
- authoritative voice
- critical distance
- moral resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Psychology (miscellaneous)