Work-Lifestyle Choices in the 21st Century Preference Theory

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-01-18
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In this pioneering work, Catherine Hakim presents the "Preference Theory," a new, multi-disciplinary philosophy for explaining and predicting current and future patterns for women choosing between family work and outside employment. It is the first theory developed specifically to explain women's behavior and choices, constituting a major break from male-oriented theorizing in sociology and economics. In fact, this text identifies five major historical changes that are collectively producing a new scenario for women in prosperous, 21st century societies.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: a Social Science Theory for the 21st Century
A new perspective
The four main tenets of preference theory
Modern society
Reinstating preferences as a causal factor
Britain and the USA as case-studies
Plan of the book
Future changes
The Failure to Predict
Prediction versus post hoc explanation
The male bias of labour market theory
Feminist contributions
Methodological considerations
Causes of the New Scenario
The contraceptive revolution
Voluntary childlessness
The equal opportunities revolution
The expansion of white-collar and service work
The creation of jobs for secondary earners
Lifestyle choices in rich modern societies
The Polarization of Preferences and Behaviour
The polarization of sex-role preferences
Does higher education make a difference?
Polarization of attitudes within the workforce
The polarization of women's employment
Continuity and change in income-earning roles
The polarization of household income
Contradictory evidence: rising workrates
Things are Different in the Younger Generations: Evidence from Longitudinal Studies
The 1958 cohort study--NCDS
Educational attainment
Earnings and the pay gap
Aspirations and sex-role ideology
The financial dependence of wives
Life satisfaction and psychological distress
Younger generations in the USA
Heterogeneous Preferences
Home-centred women and the marriage career
Work-centred women and the voluntary childfree
Adaptive women: drifters and unplanned careers
Social constraints and contextual influences
Cross-national comparisons
Conflicting interests
Contradictory evidence: female depression
Sources of the three preferences
Marriage Markets and Educational Equality
Marriage markets
The qualifications gap and educational equality
Educational homogamy of spouses
Role segregation and family relationships
Policy Applications
The rhetoric and reality of pronatalist policies
Policies for home-centred women
Policies for adaptive women
Policies for work-centred women
Employer and trade union policies
Preferences among Men
The work-lifestyle preferences of men
Enduring sex differences
The globalization of marriage markets
Male responses to the new scenario
Work-lifestyle preferences in the 21st century
Beyond sex and gender
Explanations for patriarchy and its success
Methodological implications
Cross-national comparisons
Theorizing social change
References 290(34)
Index 324

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