Published in 1925, The Gift is one of French sociologist Marcel Mauss's few non-collaborative works. In it, he elevates what might appear to be a simple gift from the status of innocent object to something that has the capacity to motivate people and define social relationships. The Gift analyzes cultures across the world and across time, with the way gifts are given and received working as a guide to understanding the rules and traditions of many different societies.
In 1963's The Feminine Mystique, she identified "the problem that has no name" afflicting women pressured to devote themselves to domestic life. After World War II, society fostered the idea that women wanted different things from men - namely, to run homes and live through the achievements of their husbands and children. In reality, rigid gender roles left housewives frustrated and depressed and caused tensions both in their marriages and in how couples raised their children.