Response3 - Annie O'Brien ANT 307 Response # 3 4 April 2008...

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Annie O’Brien ANT 307 Response # 3 4 April 2008 Choice and Agency in Opting Out Pamela Stone’ ethnography, Opting Out?: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home , provides a thorough examination of the lives of women who choose to leave high-end positions in the professional world and return to the home to focus on raising their family. According to Stone, there has been little research done on these women, despite the recent prominence of such stories in the media. Talk shows and news channels tended to pedestal these women, placing them at the forefront of a return to traditional family roles. While their decision is portrayed as driven by morality and a sense of duty, Stone uncovers the more complex reasons compelling women to leave the workforce. She examines choice and agency as defined by these women, how they saw their choices and how others viewed their decision. She also investigates the social constructions of valued vs. non-valued work and their impact on the women’s identities after their opt-out. Stone focused her research on a select group of women, who are undoubtedly the minority of mothers in the United States. They were all college-educated, non-Hispanic women who had entered into successful positions at top-level companies across the country. It was understood that the women considered themselves successes before their decision to opt-out of the workforce. Some also considered themselves feminist in the fact that they had choices open to them and were free to make these decisions about their own lives. However, Stone probes deeper into the actual choices that these women made and how little agency they actually
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exhibited when the outlying factors were considered. Stone also outlined the literal choice of the women: to stay at work while balancing motherhood
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This essay was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course ANT 307 taught by Professor Abrams during the Spring '08 term at Centre College.

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Response3 - Annie O'Brien ANT 307 Response # 3 4 April 2008...

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