The Third Career: Revisiting the Home vs. Work Choice in Middle Age

By Milica Z. Bookman | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to so many women who have participated, sometimes unknowingly, in all stages of this project. The first group of women whom I want to thank are those who provided the original idea for this book. They are the friends and casual acquaintances who talked to me about their life choices. In our conversations, they revealed their current dilemmas, reviewed their former decisions, and formulated their future aspirations. Over numerous lunches, they bounced off their fears, vented their frustrations, and tested their ideas on me. Thus, many of them unknowingly contributed to this project by providing me with much food for thought. Initial ideas germinated over many more cups of coffee with more women than I can name here. However, two friends stand out for the enormous contribution they made to this project. I want to thank Ann Cortes for her honesty and her insight--first about her own life choices and later about this project. She listened, she contributed, she questioned, and she criticized, for all of which I am very grateful. I also want to thank Bobbi Wald who candidly discussed her life dilemmas as well as those of other women in her age group. Through her exceedingly broad contacts in the Miami area, she gave me an invaluable initial insight into the mind-set of middle-aged women, unemployed women, and women who do not have to work but want to. Both Ann and Bobbi provided the initial stimulus necessary for this research project.

Another group of women helped me locate and organize respondents for the survey. As it was conducted by the snowball method, it was imperative to have at least a dozen potential respondents as a starting point in the hope that they, in turn, would provide leads for others. I would like to thank Pat Cox, Carol Lynn Foster, Elayne Furst, Marisella Lacayo, Any Muench, Melody Roadman, Ellen Steiner, Bobbi Wald, and Carol Walpole, for their assistance in locating respondents who fit the profile I was searching for.

The third group of women consisted of those who agreed to participate in this study and who enthusiastically offered me their hearts and minds. They are the ones who this book is about and the ones without whose participation this book simply would not have been! While I cannot name them in order to protect their privacy, I take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them. These women gave of their time and their energy and thereby added yet one more

-xvii-

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The Third Career: Revisiting the Home vs. Work Choice in Middle Age
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Part I REALITIES xix
  • Chapter 1: The Profile of Middle-Aged Women with Choices 1
  • Chapter 2: Evolving Expectations of Women with Choices 17
  • Part II INCENTIVES 43
  • Chapter 3 the Transformation of Aspirations 45
  • Notes 60
  • Chapter 4: The Redefinition of Leisure 63
  • Chapter 5: The Reevaluation of Volunteer Work 79
  • Part III CONDITIONS 89
  • Chapter 7: The Accommodating Work Environment 101
  • Part IV CAPACITIES 119
  • Chapter 8: Advantages to Be Harnessed 121
  • Chapter 9: Obstacles to Be Overcome 137
  • Part V BENEFITS 155
  • Chapter 10 Social Benefits: the Economic Contribution of Women with Choices 157
  • Notes 177
  • Chapter 11: Individual Benefits 179
  • Appendix I Method 189
  • Notes 192
  • Appendix II Empirical Overview: Women with Choices in America and in the Sample 193
  • Notes 197
  • Appendix III The Survey 199
  • Selected Bibliography 211
  • Index 215
  • About the Author 219
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