Occupational choice among female academicians: The Israeli case

R. Shapira, E. Etzioni Halevy, S. Chopp Tibon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The authors traced the development of the women's role images, as compared to those of their male counterparts throughout the process of their professional socialization at the university and at the time of their initial entry into the labor market after graduation. It was their expectation that at the beginning of their studies at the university, the women's role images would be least 'feminine' in the traditional sense of the term, and most similar to those of male students as a result of their past socialization. Since the educational system is relatively more egalitarian in its treatment of the sexes than is the occupational structure, the authors expected that as women approach their initiation into the labor market, they would become more 'realistic' adapting their occupational choices to their actual possibilities in this market, and that their role images would thus become more traditionally 'feminine'. This follow-up study was particularly suited for the examination of this expectation. To bring out the special qualities of the role images of female academicians the authors compared them with those of their male counterparts in the following three respects: occupational choice per se: decisiveness of occupational choice; and consistency of occupational choice. The analysis is based on a follow-up of students at Tel-Aviv University (one of the six academic institutions of higher learning in Israel) from the beginning of their university studies until they entered the labor market. The study was on a stratified random sample of students from three faculties (National Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities) who had begun their studies in 1966/7. A questionnaire that included items on social background and attitudes was administered to the students shortly after they enrolled at the university. A similar questionnaire was administered when they were in their third year at the university. A third questionnaire was administered five years after the respondents had begun their academic studies; this last stage included additional questions regarding the graduates' entrance into the labor market. Of the responders who participated in all three stages, this analysis deals with 323 individuals for whom the authors have full details on social and academic background. One hundred and seventy-six of the respondents (53.5%) were men, and 153 were women. The distribution of the respondents on all socio-economic background variables corresponds to their distribution among the overall student population at that time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-82
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Family Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


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