New Book: Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: A Life Course Perspective

On 27 October 2014, Professor Ingrid Schoon will be launching her new book, entitled: Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: A Life Course Perspective, which she has co-edited with Jacquelynne S. Eccles, University of Michigan.

The launch will take place in Room 777 at the Institute of Education, starting from 5.00 pm. Some of the contributors to the volume will discuss their particular chapters; discounted copies will be available, and refreshments will be served.

Details of the book are given at A short abstract, and some endorsements, are provided below.

Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: A Life Course Perspective

What are the role of parents, peers and teachers in shaping school experiences and informing the career choice of males and females? Does the school context matter, and to what extent do educational experiences influence young people’s self-concept, values and their outlook to the future? Do teenage aspirations influence later outcomes regarding educational attainment and the assumption of work and family related roles? These questions and more are addressed in the chapters of this book, following lives over time and in context. The book is both innovative and timely, moving the discussion of gender inequalities forward, providing a dynamic and contextualized account of the way gendered lives evolve. Chapters address the role of institutional structures and the wider socio-historical context in helping young men and women to realize their ambitions. A unique feature is the longitudinal perspective, examining the role of multiple interlinked influences on individual life planning and attainment.


“The value here is the diversity of perspectives—in terms of discipline, national context, life stage—that Schoon, Eccles, and their first-class team bring to the discussion of gender, school, and work.  By delving into this diversity, readers will come to understand how a young woman or man makes life decisions.”

Robert Crosnoe, University of Texas at Austin

“Rich evidence from impressive datasets interrogates complex intersections of personal and contextual factors which shape persistently gendered pathways into adulthood. The structured sections provide an effective way to communicate findings concerning early family and school socialisation, teen aspirations, and institutional and cultural structures. The wealth of longitudinal findings presented across developmental stages and cultural settings makes this collection, edited by eminent researchers Ingrid Schoon and Jacquelynne Eccles, a must read.”

Helen Watt, Monash University

“This book demonstrates how gender differentials in educational and occupational aspirations and attainments emerge, and why they are so persistent. A particular strength of the contributions are the rich contextual assessments, the differentiated modeling of decision processes, the analysis of changing demands and needs across the life-span, and the prospective longitudinal studies. Schoon & Eccles have achieved the most comprehensive and objective assessment of what keeps unjust but also benign gender differentials alive, and why change requires a multi-facetted approach rather than one simple cure. This work is a must for everybody interested in gender differences in the world of education, training, and careers.”

Rainer Silbereisen, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena