An International Comparison
Edited by Hans-Peter Blossfeld and Heather Hofmeister
Phyllis Moen Across the European and American labor markets, the ‘story’ of the latter half of the twentieth century consists of trends in women entering, remaining in, or reentering employment at different ages and life-course stages. HansPeter Blossfeld and Heather Hofmeister make a convincing case that the ‘story’ in the first decade of the twenty-first century will be globalization and its varied impacts, especially as they intersect with women’s lives in different policy contexts. Globalization, Uncertainty and Women’s Careers: An International Comparison is the third in a quite remarkable series of edited volumes chronicling an impressive array of comparative, cross-national longitudinal research findings from the GLOBALIFE project. Most extant studies of globalization focus largely on the developing world. By contrast, this series charts the ecology of globalization in economically developed regions: North America and Europe, including countries in Eastern Europe. Taken together, these researches examine micro-level, life-course impacts of globalization processes, within as well as across nations, within as well as across age and gender divides. In this edited volume, Blossfeld, Hofmeister and colleagues demonstrate the ways that the globalization of markets together with existing institutional disadvantages exacerbate women’s position as outsiders. But this outcome is nuanced, in that women’s increasing vulnerability is contingent on both their prior biographies and the policy regimes under which they live. Mayer (1986, p. 167) describes institutional careers as the orderly flow of persons through segmented institutions. A number of life-course scholars (for example, Blossfeld and Drobnič 2001; Blossfeld, Drobnič and Rohwer 1995; Kohli...