Career, uncertainty and working life: ‘being classified as temporary’

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This chapter explores in further detail post-education and training pathways across generations. Key historical trends are outlined, with the fluid nature of working life for women coming into focus. A fine-grained examination occurs of gendered aspects of transitions to work, caring for families and post-school life. The older generation’s lives were impacted upon by key social changes such as the advent of contraception. For Catholic women, this was a contentious issue due to the church’s outlawing of it. Yet, women in this study were experiencing greater choice even if, at times, it was against Catholic Church rulings. Notions of choice and flexibility are reflected in the attitudes of the third generation with a more strategic approach taken to career and family. This was notwithstanding the influence for some of, and continuity with, older members of their families’ pathways. Some women of the third generation were clearly focused on undertaking post-study for specific careers. The way in which gender was shaping career aspirations and transitions of this youngest generation was more pronounced. The way in which gender was shaping the career aspirations of this younger generation was more pronounced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation, Work and Catholic Life
Subtitle of host publicationStories of Three Generations of Australian Mothers and Daughters
EditorsAnne Keary
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811389894
ISBN (Print)9789811389887
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Career
  • working life
  • post-education training
  • post-education pathways
  • Historical trends
  • Transitions to work
  • Catholic influences
  • Women's Life Trajectories in Australia
  • Inter-generational Relationships
  • Qualitative Longitudinal Research
  • Generation and Change
  • Australian Female Youth Transitions
  • Catholic Schooling in Australia
  • Multi-methodological Approach to Research

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