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Competing Devotions: Career and Family Among Women Executives
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Competing Devotions: Career and Family Among Women Executives

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The wrenching decision facing successful women choosing between demanding careers and intensive family lives has been the subject of many articles and books, most of which propose strategies for resolving the dilemma. Competing Devotions focuses on broader social and cultural forces that create women's identities and shape their understanding of what makes life worth livin ...more
Paperback, 269 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Harvard University Press (first published May 30th 2003)
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Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
third time for this one too, and I'm still struck by how good this contribution is. Blair-Loy analyzes elite women's work-family trajectories through the lens of cultural schemas, which, importantly, shape how they interpret the various turning points, leading some to relinquish their careers, others to remain committed, and still others to attempt to fashion something new. lucid and theoretically compelling. A great follow-up to The Second Shift, which we read last week. Can I pat myself on the ...more
Sarah Szymanski
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
**Read for my 2021 gender and sexuality comprehensive exams**

Really enjoyed this one! Felt it took a very comprehensive look at, literal competing devotions in women's lives, namely children and (mostly executive) work. It critiqued individualist notions of American work/family culture and asked why it is almost always women who are the ones who have to give up their jobs/work part-time even if they are earning more than their husbands. This book did focus on mostly middle- and upper middle-clas
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it

Blair-Loy's main argument is that cultural schemas of devotion - devotion to work and devotion to family - have enormous power to shape and/or constrain our behavior and more importantly, our identities. These schemas are largely based on a gendered division of labor and heterosexual marriage - the idea that a man will go out and provide, while a woman stays home and cares for the children and the home. For highly educated, professional women, these schemas are at odds. In this book, Blair-Loy e
Another book required for my Sociology of Gender class. I became very well acquainted while writing a response paper in juxtaposition with an anti-feminist article. Blair-Loy interviews upper-class and executive women--because if they can't be "Supermom" and find the right balance of work and family, then hope is futile for the rest of us. ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really spot on for the most part.
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