Abstract

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the gender divide in American higher education narrowed rapidly as women shifted their aims from homemaking to careers. The dynamicsocial norms hypothesis explains why we observe unexpected and rapid rather than gradual change in women's education and employment. The explanation draws on a theory of social change developed by Timur Kuran that predicts revolutionary rather than incremental shifts in social norms. Critical to the argument is the claim that in some settings the choices of individuals depend in part on the choices of others. In the presence of interdependencies, the potential exists for unexpected and rapid transformations, such as that occurring in higher education between 1965 and 1975.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 248-291
Launched on MUSE
2009-08-26
Open Access
No
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