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Why do girls' and boys' gender-(a)typical occupational aspirations differ across countries?: how cultural norms and institutional constraints shape young adolescents' occupational preferences

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Leuze, Kathrin; Helbig, Marcel

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Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract Occupational sex segregation persists in all European and OECD countries; yet in some countries, it is more pronounced than in others. In this paper we seek to explain these cross-national variations by analyzing the realistic occupational aspirations of 15-year-old pupils in 29 EU and OECD countries. Based on socialization and rational choice approaches we develop hypotheses for how cultural norms and national institutions might influence the gender-typing of occupations. These are tested by applying 2-step multi-level models to the OECD's 2006 PISA study merged with country-level data from various sources. Results indicate that girls develop gender-(a)typical occupational aspirations in response to structural education and labor market differences across countries, while boys' gender-(a)typical aspirations are mainly influenced by country variations in normative prescriptions of gender-essentialist cultures and self-expressive value systems. The findings point at the necessity for differentiating both between micro- and macrolevel explanations and between explanations for women and men. (author's abstract)
Keywords career aspiration; socialization; international comparison; EU; OECD; gender-specific factors; girl; boy
Classification Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies; Occupational Research, Occupational Sociology
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Berlin
Page/Pages 41 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, P 2015-002
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications