Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts: Shyness, Power, and Intimacy in the United States, 1950-1995
Since World War II Americans' attitudes towards shyness have changed. The women's movement and the sexual revolution raised questions about communication, self-expression, intimacy, and personality, leading to new concerns about shyness. At the same time, the growth of psychotherapy and the mental health industry brought shyness to the attention of professionals who began...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published May 18th 2004 by New York University Press
(first published November 1st 2003)
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Examines how Americans' views of shyness have evolved throughout recent decades, particularly in relation to gender. The 1950s view of shyness as a womanly virtue differs greatly from modern views. As a woman who is frequently described as "painfully shy" I am all too aware of the negative impact this personality trait has on my life. In fact, the mental health industry considers my shyness a "disorder" commonly known as Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia. I struggle all the time with the...more