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A MODEL OF INTERNAL BARRIERS TO WOMEN'S OCCUPATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

VALERIE ELIZABETH YOUNG, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

Women in a male-dominated world face a myriad of societal obstacles impeding their occupational development and effectiveness. Yet, even when external barriers are altered not all women are able to respond advantageously due to their own self-limiting philosophies and patterns. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the internal barriers inhibiting women occupationally so as to develop a model that expands our knowledge of these barriers.^ Ninety minute interviews conducted with fifteen female educator/trainers considered to be knowledgeable in the research area. The subjects, many of whom also function in career counseling capacities, design and implement occupationally-related workshops and training seminars for women. Data from subject observations and insights were viewed within the context of the relevant literature. Triangulation of these two data sources, coupled with pilot testing, provided a checking system for determining patterns and correlations. Prevalent themes were coded, grouped, and analyzed. The result was the development of a model describing internal barriers inhibiting women occupationally.^ The model presents the three topic areas determined to be most salient. These are: (1) sociocultural expectations and realities, which refers to societal and cultural expectations for appropriate female-male roles and behaviors as well as certain social inequities, i.e., sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, and age discrimination; (2) other-directedness, which refers to women's profound sense of connectedness to others; and (3) performance, which refers to the ways in which women's definitions, fears, and standards relative to competence, success, and failure impact on their self-expectations and self-assessments.^ The consideration of this model can lead to improved educational technology aimed at expanding women's occupational development, effectiveness, and options. Conclusions emphasized the need for training designs to take into consideration all three dimensions of the model. ^

Subject Area

School counseling

Recommended Citation

YOUNG, VALERIE ELIZABETH, "A MODEL OF INTERNAL BARRIERS TO WOMEN'S OCCUPATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT" (1985). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8509618.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8509618

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