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Caven, V (2009) Designing a career: men and architecture. In: Dainty, A R J (Ed.), Proceedings 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2009, Nottingham, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 612–26.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: architecture; career; men; profession; work-life balance
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-1-4
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2009-0612-0626_Caven.pdf
Much attention has been paid to the careers of women in the construction and architecture in particular. Difficulties faced by women working in the architecture profession have been identified as long working hours, poor pay, paternalistic culture, sexism and task restriction. These are all measured against an assumed masculine norm, however, there is little or no work on what constitutes this norm or how it came to be established, other than an idea that it is due to the critical mass of men involved in the industry and related cultural assumptions. It has been argued that what it means to be an architect has been determined and tightly controlled by male architects and women are thereby excluded from these masculine norms. However, this is a paucity of work examining how working within these masculine norms affects male architects. Drawing on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with male architects examining their careers in detail from what made them choose the profession initially to the issues which confront them on a day to day basis, the author uses the same research tools as previous research into the careers of women architects in order to provide a direct comparison. Findings indicate that the male architects have very similar concerns about their work, career and work-life balance as the women. The conclusion is that the norm of masculinity in the construction industry must be questioned.