Monash University

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The socializing experiences of women in traditional and non-traditional apprenticeships

posted on 2017-11-20, 23:12 authored by Maree A. Hollis
This thesis compared the socialization experiences of girls in traditional and non-traditional apprenticeships. Eighty-eight girls were interviewed about their home, school and work experiences. The findings showed that the primary socialization of the two groups differed significantly in the images of women transmitted by parents, the toys and opportunities provided and the activities engaged in. One group had traditional female experiences and were not exposed to or encouraged in non-traditional activities. Non­traditional apprentices engaged in a wide range of masculine pursuits including 'handyman' tasks and developed an interestand sense of competence in these areas. They were encouraged to be strong-willed, nonconforming, determined and self­ reliant. The two groups developed different 'self' images including behaviors, interests and attitudes. Non­ traditionals knew they were female but their definition was much broader than the traditional definition of womanhood.They were tomboys while traditionals were average to feminine girls. Schools promoted sex-stereotypes and traditionals conformed while non-traditionals resisted and were noisy, active, played 'boys' games, associated with males and chose subjects and jobs considered appropriate for males. Parents of both groups supported their daughters' subject and job choices but those of non-traditionals did not promote sex stereotypes. Traditionals chose sex-appropriate jobs and were accepted and seen as competent. Non-traditionals had to prove their competence. They were highly visible, faced hostility, harassment and environments where women were regarded as sex objects. Non-traditionals were very confident, determined, strong-willed and could exist alone, fitting into a group of men. Both groups expect to be Mives and mothers though non­ traditionals were less stereotyped in their attitudes to men and gender roles. Theories of social reproduction were used to explain the relationship between primary socialization at home and the difference in self concepts of the two groups.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Shirley Sampson

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Education

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