The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2005 - Social Science - 291 pages
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The Career Mystique shows that most Americans-men and women-continue to embrace the myth that hard work, long hours, and continuous employment pay off, even though it is out of date and out of place in twenty-first-century America. Phyllis Moen and Patricia Roehling argue that the lock step arrangements around education, work, family, and retirement no longer fit the realities and risks of contemporary living, yet the roles, rules, and regulations spawned by the career mystique remain in place. This books shows that ambiguities and uncertainties about the future abound in boardrooms, in offices, and on factory floors, as Americans face the realities of corporate restructuring, chronic job insecurity, and double demands at work and at home. Moen and Roehling show the career mystique for what it is: a false myth standing in the way of creating new, alternative workplaces and career flexibilities. Based on research funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Institute on Aging.
  

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Contents

The Career Mystique
1
Learning the Career Mystique Where Do Values and Expectations Come From?
26
Do Young Adults Still Believe in the Career Mystique?
41
If Real Work Is Paid Work Can New Parents Follow the Career Mystique?
60
Living the Career Mystique Making It Giving Up or Slipping Behind?
94
Life Midcourse Are Retirement or Second Acts Inevitable Desirable or Even Possible?
129
Policies and Practices Maintaining the Status Quo or Challenging the Career Mystique?
158
Beyond the Career Mystique Recasting the Lockstep Life Course
187
Notes
201
References
227
Subject Index
271
Name Index
279
About the Authors
291
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Phyllis Moen holds the McKnight Presidential Chair of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Working Parents and Women's Two Roles and editor of It's About Time: Couples and Careers. She recently served as president of the Eastern Sociological Society. Patricia Roehling is professor and chair of the psychology department at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

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