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Explaining women's employment patterns: 'orientations to work' revisited

Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002
British Journal of Sociology. 1998.  Vol. 49. No. 1. P. 118-136. 
Explanations of the persisting differences in the structure of men's and women's employment have long been debated in the social sciences. Sociological explanations have tended to stress the continuing significance of structural constraints on women's employment opportunities, which persist, despite the removal of formal barriers. Neo-classical economics, in contrast, have emphasized the significance of individual choice, an argument which has been recently endorsed by Hakim who suggests that patterns of occupational segregation reflect the outcome of the choices made by different 'types' of women. In this paper, a previous debate relating to the explanatory utility of men's 'orientations to work' is used to argue that employment structures are the outcome of both choice and constraint, and that this is also the case for women. The argument is illustrated with evidence from cross-nationally comparative biographical interviews carried out in five countries
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