Portraits of the Main Informants
To set the stage, I would like to introduce the five women who allowed me to step into their lives and who shared so much of themselves with me. Since this is not a psychological study, the only background information I needed was the essentials about their family constellation and their parents' socioeconomic and cultural background. Whatever else I learned depended a great deal on the individual woman, the timing, and the circumstances under which they spoke with me. Information on education, career development, and related issues was also informally obtained.
Two of the women, Anna and Karin, were born and grew up in Europe. Anna is married to an American and has worked in the success subculture for many years. Karin is less acculturated, I think, than Anna. She went to college and graduate school in America and has lived here a few years since, but her husband is not American. Nevertheless, both women accept the values and meet the standards of the success subculture.
Here, then, are their stories.