Advances and ambivalence: The consequences of women's educational and workforce changes for women's political participation in the United States, 1952 to 2012
Over the last forty years, the gap between men and women with respect to labor-market outcomes, paid hours of work, hours working at home, occupations, college majors, and education levels in the United States has narrowed or disappeared. We ask whether these substantial changes in women's lives - changes in precisely the variables that have seemed to matter so much to our understanding of political participation - have enabled women's political action in the United States. We find that they have not, and we suggest that the brakes on the translation of education and occupation into political participation come from continuing ambivalence about jobs and careers. Of course, these ambivalent attitudes may very well reflect a reality about the complications of workforce participation in a world with unequal and limited access to childcare, parental leave, high-paying jobs, and opportunities for career advancement.
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