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Young people’s gendered occupational choices at the transition to vocational training: The role of parents’ sex-typed ability beliefs, individual aspirations, and institutions


Kriesi, I; Buchmann, M (2011). Young people’s gendered occupational choices at the transition to vocational training: The role of parents’ sex-typed ability beliefs, individual aspirations, and institutions. In: 10th Conference of the European Sociological Association „Social Relations in Turbulent Times", Geneva, 7 September 2011 - 10 September 2011.

Abstract

Young people’s gendered occupational choices are partly responsible for sex-segregation in the labour market, leading to unequal opportunities of young men and women. The choice of sex-typical occupations is particularly pronounced at the transition into vocational training. This transition is characteristic of dual educational systems prevalent in Switzerland or Germany.

Current sociological theories (Charles & Bradley, 2009; Ridgeway & Correll, 2004) consider gender-essentialist stereotypes and beliefs about innate gender differences in abilities, held by young people and gatekeepers (e.g., parents, teachers, or employers), as important causes for gendered occupational choices and allocation processes. However, the exact mechanisms leading to gender-segregation at the transition into vocational training are still underexplored. Little is know about the role of gendered ability beliefs and aspirations vis-à-vis academic qualifications, which serve as institutionalized selection criteria of trainees. Against this background, our paper examines whether parents’ gender-typed ability beliefs, adolescents own values and aspirations as well as academic qualifications affect the probability that young people train in a gender-typical occupation at the age of 18. We extend previous research by distinguishing between two different types of male and female occupations.

Our analyses make use of the Swiss Survey of Children and Youth COCON, a representative longitudinal study including a cohort of adolescents. The respondents were 15 and 18 years old at the time of data collection in 2006 and 2009 (N=952). The data also includes information from primary caregivers. Results are based on multinomial regression models run separately for men and women. They show that specific aspects of parents’ gender-typed ability beliefs promote the choice of different types of male or female occupations. In addition, gendered aspirations as well as educational qualifications are important explanatory factors. The latter highlights the role of institutional allocation processes in explaining occupational gender segregation at the transition into vocational training.

Abstract

Young people’s gendered occupational choices are partly responsible for sex-segregation in the labour market, leading to unequal opportunities of young men and women. The choice of sex-typical occupations is particularly pronounced at the transition into vocational training. This transition is characteristic of dual educational systems prevalent in Switzerland or Germany.

Current sociological theories (Charles & Bradley, 2009; Ridgeway & Correll, 2004) consider gender-essentialist stereotypes and beliefs about innate gender differences in abilities, held by young people and gatekeepers (e.g., parents, teachers, or employers), as important causes for gendered occupational choices and allocation processes. However, the exact mechanisms leading to gender-segregation at the transition into vocational training are still underexplored. Little is know about the role of gendered ability beliefs and aspirations vis-à-vis academic qualifications, which serve as institutionalized selection criteria of trainees. Against this background, our paper examines whether parents’ gender-typed ability beliefs, adolescents own values and aspirations as well as academic qualifications affect the probability that young people train in a gender-typical occupation at the age of 18. We extend previous research by distinguishing between two different types of male and female occupations.

Our analyses make use of the Swiss Survey of Children and Youth COCON, a representative longitudinal study including a cohort of adolescents. The respondents were 15 and 18 years old at the time of data collection in 2006 and 2009 (N=952). The data also includes information from primary caregivers. Results are based on multinomial regression models run separately for men and women. They show that specific aspects of parents’ gender-typed ability beliefs promote the choice of different types of male or female occupations. In addition, gendered aspirations as well as educational qualifications are important explanatory factors. The latter highlights the role of institutional allocation processes in explaining occupational gender segregation at the transition into vocational training.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
370 Education
Language:English
Event End Date:10 September 2011
Deposited On:15 Dec 2011 14:03
Last Modified:05 Apr 2017 23:18
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/52485/
http://imatis.unige.ch/conference/abstractbooks/abstract.php?aID=2944
http://www.esa10thconference.com/

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