ERIC Number: ED236389
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov-30
Reference Count: 0
Women's Peer Groups and Choice of Career. Final Report.
Holland, Dorothy C.; Eisenhart, Margaret A.
The role of women's college peer groups in aiding women to continue along or in encouraging them to drop out of certain career paths was investigated. During an ethnographic phase, freshmen were interviewed; during the survey phase a survey instrument was administered to sophomores. Respondents were from predominately black Bradford University (BU) and predominantly white North Carolina University (NCU). Peer relationships were important primarily as opportunities to enact valued role-identities. Noncareer peer relationships competed with career concerns for time and attention. Few black women changed plans for a major, while whites viewed changing majors as acceptable. Changes in major were more likely to result either in women staying in or moving toward nonmath/science majors. Ambivalence of BU women in career choice focused on questioning the worth of the credential relative to its costs. Nonacademic peer-related identities and rewards competed with career goals. NCU women were uncertain about their choices of majors. Peers' approval of NCU women's goals translated into greater commitment to pursue training in their majors. Recommendations to increase women's participation in math or science careers were identified. (The survey instrument and code book and summarized career identity histories are appended.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Policy Research and Planning Group, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC.