Key Issues in Women's Work

Female Diversity and the Polarisation of Women's Employment

By Catherine Hakim

© 2005 – Routledge-Cavendish

280 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781904385165
pub: 2004-08-31
US Dollars$71.95
x

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Women's employment is one of the most widely-discussed and often-misunderstood issues of modern society. Are women today oppressed, or do they have the best of both worlds? Do women have to go out to work to gain equality with men, or do they already do more than their share of domestic work, caring work and voluntary work as well as work in the informal economy? Do women seek careers on the same terms as men, or are they content to be dependent wives or secondary earners taking jobs on a short-term basis? How important is job segregation in explaining the 20% pay gap between men and women? Have equal opportunities laws had any real impact? Are women in Europe lagging behind, or are they at the forefront of developments in modern societies? This new updated edition of Catherine Hakim's classic text addresses all the key issues currently debated in relation to women's work - in the domestic sphere, as well as paid employment.

Dr Hakim tests the power of patriarchy theory and preference theory against economic theories. Sex discrimination, work-life balance, part-time work, flexible hours, homeworking, career patterns across the life cycle, labour mobility, labour turnover, the returns to education, occupational segregation, the pay gap, the glass ceiling, and the impact of European Union policies are all considered. Analysis of historical developments over the twentieth century, based on censuses, is complemented by case studies of people working in occupations undergoing dramatic change. Throughout the book, comparisons are drawn between the USA, Britain, other European countries, Canada, Australia, and also China, Japan and other Far Eastern societies.

The analysis draws on sociology, economics, psychology, labour law, history and social anthropology to conclude that the diversity of women's life goals and lifestyle preferences is increasing. This explains the growing polarisation of women's employment and many contradictory recent research results.

About the Series

Contemporary Issues in Public Policy

This series of books is intended to offer accessible, informed and well-evidenced analyses of topical policy issues - from the national health through women’s work to central issues of crime and criminal justice - as a counterweight to the manner in which they tend to be presented in political and public debates. The mass media can be sensationalizing and overly-simple. Many observers and commentators are too engaged politically or professionally to take a dispassionate stand. By contrast, what is offered here is considered expert commentary laid out in a literate and helpful manner. Moreover, in the wake of globalization, the revolution in information technology and new forms of regulation and audit, an immense proliferation of data has occurred which can swamp all but the most experienced and duly skeptical analyst. Providing an excellent core for teaching in social policy, criminology, politics and the sociology of contemporary Britain, the series is also intended for politicians, policy-makers, journalists and other concerned people who wish to know more about the world they live in today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW000000
LAW / General