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

By Milica Z. Bookman | Go to book overview

Appendix I
Method

The aim of the survey was to achieve a cross-sectional sample of middle-aged women who had been out of the labor force for at least six years and who were exploring future employment possibilities (or who had just recently reentered the labor force). The aim was to further understand how they perceived their choices in middle age, what their goals were with respect to the labor market, what obstacles and constraints they foresaw, and what advantages they perceived themselves to have. I tried to understand how they felt about their hiatus outside the workforce, how they thought their families would react if they started working, and what concrete expression their goals had taken. Thus, my aim was to peek into the window of both their perceptions and their actions in order to understand their current choices in light of their past ones.


SELECTION OF RESPONDENTS

In the sample, respondents were identified through the snowball method. This entailed finding a handful of initial (or seed) women who fit the profile requirements and asking them to produce other subjects. They in turn were asked to provide others still, and so on.

Subjects were first contacted by telephone and the project was described to them. They were asked several questions and if they satisfied the broad requirements, they were invited to participate. The positive response rate to that initial invitation was quite high: indeed, 81.1% accepted. A time for the interview was agreed upon (an interview was chosen rather than a questionnaire-- given the nature of the questions and the effort to solicit openended responses, it was not realistic to expect women to write long and time- consuming answers). Although the response rate was high, the number of actual interviews was lower since a few women canceled (and declined to reschedule) or failed to show up at prearranged times. The effective response rate was higher among English-speaking women than among the Hispanic population.

-189-

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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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