Gendered Lives

Gendered Lives

Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction

Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex and Anke C. Plagnol

The focus of the book is on inequalities in production and reproductive activities, as played out over time and in specific contexts. It examines the different forms that gendered lives take in the household and the workplace, and explores how gender equalities may be promoted in a changing world. Gendered Lives offers many novel and sometimes unexpected findings that contribute to new understandings of not only the causes of gender inequalities but also the ongoing implications for economic well-being and societal integration.

Chapter 2: Changing Career Trajectories of Women and Men Across Time

Erzsebet Bukodi, Shirley Dex and Heather Joshi

Subjects: development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, family and gender policy, labour policy, sociology and sociological theory


Erzsebet Bukodi, Shirley Dex and Heather Joshi INTRODUCTION As we know from cross-sectional snapshots and their time trends, women’s and men’s labour market behaviours have grown closer together as women have participated increasingly in paid work. From the midtwentieth century onwards, women have increasingly moved out of the private sphere of the home, into the public sphere previously occupied mainly by men assisted by their large increases in educational qualifications (see Scott et al., Introduction, this volume). Over the same period, men’s employment participation rates have declined, largely linked to sectoral changes and the decline of occupations in the manufacturing sector. What is less well documented is the extent to which women’s or men’s career trajectories have changed, and whether these also have grown closer over time. Career trajectories are the longitudinal and more dynamic elements of working lives that this book is concerned with. It is important to examine them to see whether men and women are still on gendered pathways as they go through their working lives, a task that is implicitly a comparison across generations and across time. There are a number of reasons why we should be interested in the changing career trajectories of women and men. Charting such longitudinal careers over time across generations will help to answer policy-related questions about whether women and men have grown more equal following the 1970s, in which decade sex discrimination and unequal pay for equal work were made illegal. We hope to document how far we have come....

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