15 Pages

The Perceived Control of Well-Educated Women: 1972–1984

WithBartolomeo J. Palisi, Claire Canning

From 1972 lo 1984 women's social status changed as more worked outside the home and family ties loosened. How did their own attitudes change? Did they feel greater power? Did they feel greater mastery? Polls of 567 women in 1972 and 548 women in 1984 respond to these questions. The study found that perceived mastery but not power, was higher for many types of women in 1984 than in 1972. Also, in 1972 there were differences in perceived control among college graduates. Those with high control were in high-status occupations, were older, were married, and had children. In 1984 only undergraduates with these characteristics were high in control. These results match data from the NORC General Social Surveys.