Family and Labour within the System of Personal Meanings of Women who are Academics

Małgorzata Puchalska-Wasyl


The paper is an empirical attempt to answer the question about the essence of possible difference between the personal meanings attributed to work and family by female academics. As a theoretical background H.J.M. Hermans's theory of valuation has been used. According to this theory, the subject organizes his or her experiences in a system of subjective meanings called valuations. They are always founded by two basic human motives (satisfied to a varied extent), i.e. a tendency to empower oneself (S) and a tendency to be united with others (O). The studies allow us to state that in the life of women who are academics, self-empowerment (S) distinctly dominates the experiences of a bond and being close (0). This results from the fact that the area of their job almost entirely satisfy the motive of self-development (S), and the family sphere, as the basic source of gratification of the communitarian motive (O) almost always allows for women to draw the sense of one's own value (S) from the experiences of contact and unity. It also turns out that although the family roles constitute for women the same are of self-realization , as the role of an academic, but to sacrifice professional affairs for family affairs do not arouse any conflict, which occurs in the reverse situation.

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