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‘I Mean, You Want to be There for Them’: Young Australian Professionals Negotiating Careers in a Gendered World


  • Rosslyn Reed

    () (University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Margaret Allen

    (University of Adelaide)


Popular opinion suggests young Australians are no longer interested in families and/or careers. This longitudinal study of Australian university graduates reports early findings about career orientations, associated long working hours and the work/family nexus. Most participants seem to be what Hakim (2000) regards as ‘adaptive’ in terms of work and family preferences. It appears more that they are pursuing fulfilling careers while negotiating new and traditional expectations of gender and family. Most seek equalitarian partnerships of shared care-giving and meaningful careers for both partners, with children typically part of their life goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosslyn Reed & Margaret Allen, 2003. "‘I Mean, You Want to be There for Them’: Young Australian Professionals Negotiating Careers in a Gendered World," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(4), pages 519-536, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:6:y:2003:i:4:p:519-536

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Metcalf, 2002. "Unions and Productivity, Financial Performance and Investment: International Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0539, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Union Wage Differentials, Product Market Influences and the Division of Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1122-1137, December.
    3. Disney, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen, 1996. "What Has Happened to Union Recognition in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 1-18, February.
    4. Lars Calmfors, 1993. "Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
    5. Brown, W & Hudson, M & Deakin, S & Pratten, C, 2001. "The Limits of Statutory Trade Union Recognition," Working Papers wp199, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    6. William Brown & Simon Deakin & David Nash & Sarah Oxenbridge, 2000. "The Employment Contract: From Collective Procedures to Individual Rights," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 611-629, December.
    7. W Brown & P Marginson & J Welsh, 2001. "The Management of Pay as the Influence of Collective Bargaining Diminishes," Working Papers wp213, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    8. Toke Skovsgaard Aidt & Vania Sena, 2005. "Unions: Rent Creators or Extractors?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 103-121, March.
    9. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
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    More about this item


    Time Allocation; Human Capital; Economics of Gender;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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