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Title: Conceptualising women's careers in a developing country : exploring the context of Malawi
Author: Chikapa, Tiyesere
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 7922
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis conceptualises the careers of women in the developing country context of Malawi. A range of 'new' career theories, namely boundaryless, protean, kaleidoscope have been developed in response to the limitations of using traditional theories for studying careers and women's careers in particular. However, these theories have been mostly based on women with interrupted careers in western contexts due to child care reasons. These have also assumed that women have preferences in terms of whether to be career oriented or family oriented. Yet, women in developing and indeed some women in the developed countries have constrained choices and do not pursue interrupted careers. Despite having family responsibilities, they work continuously and mostly full-time. Therefore, there have been calls for more context-specific career studies, especially targeting developing countries. Based on this literature gap, this thesis adopted a qualitative approach to conceptualise the careers of women in Malawi, drawing on the experiences of women in the formal economy, specifically in education and finance and insurance industries. The study finds that the careers of women in Malawi and indeed other women in similar contexts do not fit the existing career perspectives and the proposed 'makeshift' career orientation better explains the studied women's careers. This proposed career concept recognises that careers are a result of compromises that women make when faced with tensions emanating from both the employment and family contexts which simultaneously influence women's careers. The research therefore provides the basis for broadening the existing career perspectives to more adequately reflect the experiences of women, particularly in the developing world. Additionally, the study has adopted an intersectionally-sensitive approach to analysing the employment contexts in two very different sectors. The evidence presented in this thesis gives weight to the intersectional perspective as not only does it find that the actual form of inequality varies but also that the various practices that contribute to inequalities in the different sectors affect different groups of people differently by gender, class and in certain cases region. This contributes to the embryonic literature on intersectionality in terms of both its practice and theory, and understanding how gender and class issues in Malawi may be different from the way these are conceptualised in western contexts.
Supervisor: Rubery, Jill ; Tavora, Isabel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women ; Malawi ; Kaleidoscope ; Careers ; Traditional ; Makeshift ; Protean