The History of the Midlife Crisis

The History of the Midlife Crisis

Susanne Schmidt's project historicizes the "midlife crisis," which became popular in the United States and, subsequently, globally in the 1970s. A contested concept, it was a site and an instrument for negotiating gender roles. "Midlife crisis" gained traction initially as a feminist idea before it was appropriated by psychiatrists and defined in androcentric and masculinist terms. Susanne Schmidt tells the story of the changing uses of "midlife crisis" through the lens of new intellectual history, gender history, and history of science as well as global, social, and media history.