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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Natalie Sappleton

The growth in women’s entrepreneurship that has been witnessed recently in regions such as the USA has been lauded by scholars and policymakers alike. However, women continue to…

Abstract

The growth in women’s entrepreneurship that has been witnessed recently in regions such as the USA has been lauded by scholars and policymakers alike. However, women continue to start businesses in sectors that reflect the kind of work that women do in the home, such as cooking, cleaning and catering. Research shows that women’s ‘choices’ for female-typed businesses are driven by their need to accommodate domestic responsibilities – that is, caring for children. This raises questions about whether women without such responsibilities are freer to start businesses in the types of industries (e.g. high technology) that have long been dominated by men. Furthermore, given pronatalist assumptions, there are questions about the extent to which childfree women operating businesses in male-dominated sectors are perceived as legitimate by their business relations. Taking these questions as a starting point, this chapter examines the way in which the intersections of parental status (mother/other) and gender role (in)congruence (congruent/incongruent) make the entrepreneurial experiences of women working in male-dominated/masculinised industries and sectors qualitatively different from the experiences of women working in female-dominated/feminised industries. Focus is upon the resources (i.e. social capital) that women entrepreneurs are able to secure from their social network, for the ability to secure such resources is a prerequisite to business success.

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

Abstract

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Abstract

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Helen Peterson

This chapter explores an aspect of voluntary childlessness that has been neglected in previous research; how voluntarily childless (i.e. childfree) women engage in partnership…

Abstract

This chapter explores an aspect of voluntary childlessness that has been neglected in previous research; how voluntarily childless (i.e. childfree) women engage in partnership formation processes and how they perceive that these processes become influenced by their voluntarily childless status. Drawing on interviews with 21 voluntarily childless, heterosexual, Swedish women, this chapter highlights how their childfree decision(s) impacted their partnering behaviour, their chances to form an intimate relationship and their preferences concerning partners and partnerships. The results show some of the challenges these women faced as they engaged in partnership formation processes concerning; for example, constraints in partner availability and potentially conflicting preferences regards autonomy, reproduction and intimacy. In addition, partnership formation was complicated due to a lack of communication, misunderstandings and disbelief in their childfree choices. The analysis illustrates that it was of utmost importance to these women that their intimacy goals were respected and protected during these processes but that some of them were also willing to negotiate their partner ideal. Nevertheless, this chapter ends with a discussion of relationship dissolution due to ambivalence concerning childfree choices and intimacy goals both on behalf of the childfree woman and her partner.

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2009

Natalie Sappleton

The purpose of this paper is to consider the relationship between “entrepreneurial segregation” – self‐employment in a gender typical or atypical sector – and social capital.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the relationship between “entrepreneurial segregation” – self‐employment in a gender typical or atypical sector – and social capital.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on analysis of data from the 2006 wave of the European Social Survey (ESS). A sample of 2,214 male and female business owners is extracted from the dataset. The sample comprises four sub‐samples – females in female‐dominated industries (n=283); females in male‐dominated industries (337); males in male‐dominated industries (n=1,476) and males in female‐dominated industries (n=118). Regression analysis is used to determine the impact of business owners' gender and the sector of their firm upon their levels of social capital.

Findings

Women who operate firms in traditionally female sectors are found to have the highest levels of social capital. In stark contrast, those individuals – men and women – working in traditionally male sectors exhibit lower levels of social capital, measured in terms of trust, community engagement and social networks. Furthermore, self‐employment in a gender traditional or non‐traditional sector is found to be a significant predictor of social capital.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature on female entrepreneurship in general but also contributes to the embryonic body of work that is concerned with segregation in self‐employment. To date, very little research has been conducted on women in atypical enterprises, or on the nature of their activities. This paper is a preliminary step towards filling this academic gap. No prior study has assessed the social capital men and women entrepreneurs operating traditional and non‐traditional enterprises.

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International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Megumi Fieldsend

Becoming a mother is a significant transition in adult development. For women who wanted to have children but found themselves unable to do so, life without the fulfilment of…

Abstract

Becoming a mother is a significant transition in adult development. For women who wanted to have children but found themselves unable to do so, life without the fulfilment of motherhood can affect meaning-making in everyday life. Although increasing numbers of studies concerning childlessness have been carried out, much of this research has tended to focus on infertility and issues around fertility treatments. Little is known, however, about the psychological impact childlessness can have on women in midlife and how they experience the absence of children. The aim of this chapter is to offer readers an overview of psychological understanding in current research trends by reviewing papers that focus on women in midlife who are involuntarily childless. Findings from the 40 most relevant papers will be discussed under one of four key features: (1) psychological distress: medical consequences of infertility, (2) childlessness: life-span perspectives, (3) involuntary childlessness: psychosocial perspectives and (4) coping: ways of building resilience. The findings point to the dominance of quantitative approaches in researching infertility, while confirming that little has been carried out that looks at lived experience of involuntary childlessness. I hope the findings shown here will point to the necessity of psychological research applying qualitative experiential approaches that can facilitate a deeper understanding of women facing this challenge.

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Alyssa Mullins

Explanations for voluntary or intentional childlessness range from macro-level forces, such as feminism and access to contraceptives, to micro-level or individual preferences…

Abstract

Explanations for voluntary or intentional childlessness range from macro-level forces, such as feminism and access to contraceptives, to micro-level or individual preferences, such as the prioritisation of leisure time over childrearing. However, some researchers contend that the decision (not) to have children is likely impacted by overlapping factors rather than a dichotomised characterisation of internal or external factors. This debate similarly reflects Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘third way’ theoretical and methodological orientation. Bourdieu argued against a false dichotomy between the influence of structure over an individual and the ability for individuals to make active, free choices. He instead claimed that the social world consists of a complex interplay of both individual and structural factors, which he conceptualised as habitus, capital and fields. This chapter initiates the link between current understandings of childbearing preferences with Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus (our taken-for-granted, internalised ideologies or identities), capital (economic, social, cultural and symbolic resources) and fields (the external social structures or institutions in which we interact) and proposes quantitative measures of childbearing habitus and capital.

This chapter consists of an exploratory comparison of characteristics of non-parents in relation to childbearing preferences, suggesting measures to identify deeply rooted childbearing habitus and the relationship between access to various forms of capital and the habitus. This study utilises survey responses from a sample of 972 childless men and women between 25 and 40 years of age, assessing measures of social support, cultural norms and economic resources in relation to participants’ preference to have or not to have children in the future. A multivariate nested logistic regression was conducted to explore the odds of identifying as voluntarily childless (VC) (not wanting or probably not wanting, to have children in the future) based on socio-demographic factors, as well as various measures of social, economic, cultural and symbolic capital. Findings indicate several variations in significant factors contributing to a preference to remain childfree. Measures of cultural capital, including gender ideologies and pronatalist ideologies, appeared to be the greatest predictors of childbearing habitus. These findings support research suggesting that VC adults are more egalitarian and less traditional in gender relations as well as pronatalist assumptions.

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Melissa Graham, Beth Turnbull, Hayley McKenzie and Ann Taket

Women’s reproductive circumstances and choices have consequences for their experiences of social connectedness, inclusion and support across the life-course. Australia is a…

Abstract

Women’s reproductive circumstances and choices have consequences for their experiences of social connectedness, inclusion and support across the life-course. Australia is a pronatalist country and women’s social identity remains strongly linked to motherhood. Yet the number of women foregoing motherhood is increasing. Despite this, women without children are perceived as failing to achieve womanhood as expected by pronatalist ideologies that assume all women are or will be mothers. Defying socially determined norms of motherhood exposes women without children to negative stereotyping and stigma, which has consequences for their social connectedness, inclusion and support. This chapter examines theories of social connectedness, inclusion and support, drawing on Australian empirical data to explore how women without children experience social connectedness, inclusion and support in a pronatalist society within their daily lives.

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Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Kate de Medeiros and Robert L. Rubinstein

Although childless women comprise around 17% of women aged 65 and over in the US (Census Bureau, US, 2016) and up to 20% in other places in the world (Dykstra, 2009), the…

Abstract

Although childless women comprise around 17% of women aged 65 and over in the US (Census Bureau, US, 2016) and up to 20% in other places in the world (Dykstra, 2009), the intersection of childlessness, female gender and old age has not been as widely explored as is necessary; older women have historically been and continue to be overlooked in feminist research compared to other groups of women (Browne, 1998; Ray, 1996; Twigg, 2004). Therefore, how childlessness affects identity and identity, childlessness in later life is not well understood. Our analysis considered: How do never-married, childless women identify themselves in terms of age? What are the key features of such an age identity? And, do these identities align with progress narratives or narratives of decline? For this chapter, interviews with 53 older women (22 African American, 31 White) aged 60 and over, who described themselves as never married and without biological children, were analysed. Questions were semi-structured and open-ended and covered background health information, a life story interview, questions about social networks, various forms of generativity and the sample’s views about the future. Overall, these women negotiated their age identity not necessarily in relation to others (e.g. child, spouse) but in relation to themselves as social actors with an orientation towards the future – what will tomorrow bring? These forward-thinking narratives point to a new and important way to consider progress narratives and to rethink trajectories of the experience of aging.

Details

Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-362-1

Keywords

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