A Constructivist Interpretation of its Source and its Significance
Georgia Sassen examines the distinctly competitive definition of success which has fostered the popular notion that women are afraid to succeed. In analyzing women's anxiety in the face of competitive success, Sassen argues that recent research reveals that it is the climate of competition which arouses the anxiety, not success itself. Drawing upon a constructivist-developmental concept of anxiety, she points out that the "success anxiety" attributed to women might well be a reflection of their essentially female way of constructing reality, as elaborated in recent feminist theory. Sassen concludes by questioning the idea of removing women's success anxiety by training them to compete; she calls instead for a restructuring of institutions so that competition is not the only avenue to success.
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