Monday, 16 May 2016

Dreams meeting reality? A gendered perspective on the relationship between occupational preferences in early adolescence and actual occupation in adulthood

an article by Susanne Alm (Department of Criminology, Stockholm University, Sweden) published in Journal of Youth Studies Volume 18 Issue 8 (2015)


On the basis of longitudinal data from Sweden (n = 15,211), the article offers a gendered perspective on the relationship between occupational preferences during early adolescence and actual occupations in adulthood. Theoretically the study is based on socialisation theory and devaluation theory.

The analyses show that preferences for one’s future occupation were stronger among those who came to make gender-typical choices, than among those who chose a gender-atypical occupation. However, a gender difference was also found in that girls who came to choose a male dominated occupation showed a stronger preference for their future occupation in adolescence, than boys who came to choose a female dominated occupation.

Results also showed that at a general level, the occupations in adulthood were even more gender segregated than the preferences in adolescence. This was particularly true for girls, who in adolescence expressed a stronger preference to work in a male dominated occupations, than they would later actually do.

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