Challenging Professions: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Women's Professional Work
Challenging Professions is an innovative, interdisciplinary collection of thirteen thematically linked yet methodologically diverse essays that explore Canadian women's engagement with professional education and employment in the twentieth century. Guided by a co-authored introduction, Challenging Professions critically examines how women's entry into and continued participation in the professions not only contested but also challenged a concept of professionalism that was and remains profoundly gendered. This book is the product of a three-year collaboration among sixteen researchers from a variety of fields, who joined together in an interdisciplinary network funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to explore collectively their individual research on women and professional education.
The collection as a whole explores change over time and the differences between professions peopled mostly by men and those whose members are chiefly women. The difficulties of combining family and professional commitment and the impact of professional on personal life are further integrating themes. Challenging Professions raises questions not only about women's relationships to the professions, but about the professions themselves, adding to the literature that demonstrates that the meaning of professionalism is historically and culturally contingent. This collection offers readers the opportunity to examine critically both the challenges of professional work for women and the ways in which women have challenged professions.
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