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Gendered Career Choices and Stereotypes: A Theoretical Approach

Discourses on Gender and Sexual Inequality

ISBN: 978-1-78743-197-3, eISBN: 978-1-78743-196-6

Publication date: 21 September 2017



There exist a number of approaches that attempt to explain the occupational choices of youth from different perspectives. The social cognitive theory and the self-efficacy approach, to name the most influential, emphasize the centrality of cognitive abilities of individuals in making a career choice, and look at professional orientation primarily through the lenses of micro factors. This chapter extends existing approaches by accentuating the importance of cultural traditions and stereotypes for occupational choices.


This chapter uses official statistical data ranging from the rise of the USSR to the present day. These have been collected by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) and were partly retrieved from archives.


After a review of extant theoretical frames pertinent to career choices, this chapter suggests a theory of occupational choices through the lenses of gender, thus deploying Sandra L. Bem’s (1973, 1981) framework on gender schema. Proposing a theoretical model that links micro and macro factors, the chapter then demonstrates how the approach functions in the Russian post-socialist context.


The novelty consists of incorporation of sociocultural aspects of occupational choices, thus allowing a scope for comparative research. Additionally, the proposed model of gendered career choices can be employed for explaining differences within sexes. Besides, the model argues that not primarily intelligence but often external factors shape career choices.



Gewinner, I. (2017), "Gendered Career Choices and Stereotypes: A Theoretical Approach", Discourses on Gender and Sexual Inequality (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 23), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 71-89.



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