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Women's WorkHow Mothers Manage Flexible Working in Careers and Family Life$
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Zoe Young

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781529202021

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529202021.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 20 February 2020

Seeking Balance

Seeking Balance

(p.57) 3 Seeking Balance
Women's Work

Zoe Young

Policy Press

This chapter examines professional women's motivations for part-time and flexible working beyond a ubiquitous balance-seeking goal. Three common motivations form shared intention narratives that express what women hope to achieve with their employment adjustment: resolving work–life conflict, protecting careers, and expanding careers. Close examination of how women explain their motivation for their particular working arrangement reveals the layers of meaning attached to it and the complexity of the practical and ideological settlement it reflects. This particular employment transition holds far greater significance in mothers' lives than a simple adjustment to the contract of employment. The chapter illustrates how mothers' working hours choices are morally potent, socially informed, and internally justified as the right way for them to do things at the time. An important finding is the pursuit of part-time and flexible working arrangements with the express intention to expand career opportunities.

Keywords:   professional women, part-time employment, working women, motivation, mothers, working hours

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