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Globalization, Uncertainty and Women’s Careers

An International Comparison

Edited by Hans-Peter Blossfeld and Heather Hofmeister

Globalization, Uncertainty and Women’s Careers assesses the effects of globalization on the life courses of women in thirteen countries across Europe and America in the second half of the 20th century.
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Chapter 7: Women’s Career Mobility in Hungary

Erzsébet Bukodi and Péter Róbert


Erzsébet Bukodi and Péter Róbert INTRODUCTION Hungary is one of the countries that experienced transformation away from a socialist regime type in the 1990s. Individuals were hit by the transition away from socialism at different points of their employment careers, but the overall effect on mobility in Hungarian society was a strengthened relationship between social origins and occupational class position in the last decade of the twentieth century (Róbert and Bukodi 2004). The aim of this chapter is to investigate changes in women’s employment opportunities caused by economic and social transformation as well as by worldwide globalization, and our questions include identifying the major factors that influence female career mobility and asking what the role of human capital investments or prior employment insecurities might be. We focus on the 1990s and employ the Household Panel Survey (1992 to 1997) conducted by the Tárki Social Research Center. We investigate upward and downward career mobility, measured by changes in job status, and the transition between labor market and other positions (unemployment, paid and unpaid caring activities). There is a large body of literature (Beck 1992; Giddens 1999) that argues that globalization is the driving force behind increased risk and insecurity in the life course of individuals. However, other scholars emphasize the national path-dependence of this process (Blossfeld 2001). In this latter view, nationspecific institutional arrangements such as the educational system, the deregulation of the labor market or changing welfare state provisions may structure the impact globalization has...

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