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Education & Language | Conceptualising Women’s Working Lives - Moving the Boundaries of Discourse

Conceptualising Women’s Working Lives

Moving the Boundaries of Discourse

Series: Career Development Series, Vol. 5

Patton, Wendy (Ed.)



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  • This book tracks the history of the career literature on women’s careers and presents new constructions which broaden our focus to a more holistic understanding of women’s working lives in both public and private spheres.
Theoretical work on the career development of women has travelled a journey from critique to creation. Early work responded to and criticised a literature that focused on theorising male roles in a workplace that was conceptualised as providing vertical career paths primarily for middle class males. More recently theorists are creating new constructions and frameworks to enable a more holistic understanding of career, applicable to both women and men. These constructions include broadening the discussion from women’s careers to women’s working lives. This is the fifth book in the Sense Publishers Career Development Series. It features the vibrant work of contributors from around the world writing in the field of women’s working lives. It emphasises the need to explore theoretical connections and understandings in order to facilitate a more holistic and inclusive understanding of women’s working lives. The writers in the current volume acknowledge the changing roles of women, in both public and private spheres. Women’s roles in paid work are changing both in their nature and type of engagement. In addition, with an ageing population, women’s roles in care work are increasingly being extended from child care to aged care. This book provides a history of theorising about women's careers, in addition to presenting a focus on current empirical and theoretical work which contributes to understandings of women's working lives. It’s contributions both map the current discourse and challenge future work to extend the boundaries of that discourse.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Women’s working lives - new constructions

Related subjects » Education & Language

Table of contents 

Preface; Author Biographies; Part 1: Challenge and Change; 1. Understanding Women’s Working Lives; 2. Expanding the Discourse: A Dual Model of Working for Women’s (and Men’s) Lives; Mary Sue Richardson & Charles Schaeffer; 3. A Relational Cultural Paradigm as a Theoretical Backdrop for Considering Women’s Work; 4. Patterns and Paradoxes in Women’s Careers; Part 2: Transitions and Life Stages; 5. Workable Solutions: The Intersubjective Careers of Women with Families; 6. Midlife Career Transitions for Women; 7. Older Women’s Careers: Systemic Perspectives; Part 3: Specific Fields; 8. A Social Constructionist Perspective of Women’s Career Development: A Study of Professional Women in Sri Lanka; 9. Australian Women in the Academy: Challenges and Aspirations; 10. Women’s Aspirations Towards “STEM” Careers: A Motivational Analysis; 11. Changing the Discourse of Women’s Work: Challenges and Future Directions; Subject index.

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