posted September 5, 2006

Address to Examine Careers and Family

The question of whether or not the competing demands of career and family can be reconciled will be addressed during a lecture at Hope College.

Dr. Patricia Roehling of the Hope psychology faculty will present "Can We Have It All? Careers and Family" on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in the Maas Center.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Roehling is co-author of the award-winning book "The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream," published by the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group Inc. of Lanham, Md. In the book, Roehling and Dr. Phyllis Moen of the University of Minnesota examine the disconnect between the demands of a career and the structure of American society.

The book's title is inspired by the name of Betty Friedan's 1963 book "The Feminine Mystique," which challenged society's assumption that women should find complete fulfillment by devoting themselves solely to the duties of the home. While the expectations for women have changed in the years since, Roehling and Moen say, the "career mystique" has not evolved accordingly.

The "career mystique," they say, assumes intense devotion to full-time employment as the route to success. They note, however, that such commitment comes into conflict with the very real needs that workers also face at home, particularly in single-parent households or in households in which both parents are employed outside the home.

"The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream" received a national award earlier this year. In February it received the 2005 "Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing" given by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers, honored as the year's best book in the category of Sociology and Social Work.

Roehling is a professor of psychology and has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1987. She also served, from 1997 to 1999, as the director of research at the Cornell University Employment and Family Careers Institute.

She completed her B.A. at the University of Michigan in 1980, and completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at Wayne State University in 1984 and 1986 respectively.

Roehling's lecture is being sponsored by the college's Office of Career Services, women's studies program and department of psychology.

The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.