Mobility of Women
Women have traditionally achieved mobility mainly through marriage [Chase, 1975]. Married women might work at "suitable" occupations (subordinate to but not too far beneath their husbands' occupational status). But very few women gained social/status through occupation. Today, however: women are claiming equal occupational opportunity, and occupation may provide women with a mobility ladder apart from marriage. Women are showing dramatic increases in the professions. Women students in law schools, for example, increased more than fivefold from 1970 to 1980 [Fossum, 1981]. A woman sociologist who has been critical of a male-dominated society has stated: "Women are clearly making the greatest progress of all American caste groups" [Duberrnan, 1976, p. 303]. Career and mobility patterns for men and women are growing more nearly alike, yet· differences remain. The great majority of working wives still judge their class position by their husbands' occupations [lackman and Jackman, 1982], but a growing member of .working wives are using both their own and their husbands' occupations in judging their class [Van Velsor and Beeghley, 1979]. The career mobility of married women is still greatly handicapped by household duties and childbearing with its career interruptions, as outlined in Chapters 6 and 10. True equality in career mobility will demand fundamental changes in both our familial and our politico economic institutions.