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Speaker Series: Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota

  • When: March 7, 2018, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor, Lakeside, Chicago IL 60611

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Courtesy of University of Minnesota

Phyllis Moen holds the McKnight Presidential Chair in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. She studies occupational careers, gender, families, and well-being over the life course, including the frequently obsolete social, cultural, and policy ecologies in which lives play out. Professor Moen has published numerous books, such as Women's Two Roles: a Contemporary Dilemma (1992) and It's about Time: Couples and Careers (2003). She just published The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream (Rowman & Littlefield 2005), with Patricia Roehling. It is based on scholarship funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as part of the Cornell Careers Institute at Cornell University , where Moen spent 25 years, founding the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center there in 1992. The Career Mystique was recently awarded the Best Publication in Sociology for 2005 by the Professional and Scholary Publication section of the Association of American Pubishers.

Moen argues that Americans have generally acknowledged the inadequacy of the feminine mystique (that women could find total fulfillment from full-time investment in homemaking), but continue to embrace the career mystique, the (false) myth that continuous full-time investment in paid work is the ticket to men's (and now women's) success and fulfillment . Professor Moen's research on work, families, and retirement has been featured in the media, such as the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Sixty Minutes. Other research, teaching, and advising iterests include social policy and social problems, the work-family interface, retirement, aging and the gendered life course.

Professor Moen serves as a board member on Civic Ventures, a non-for profit organization that generates ideas and programs to reframe and redefine the second half of life and is part of the Conference Board's Work-Life Leadership Council. She is currently the chair of the Aging and Life Course section of the American Sociological Association, and has been elected as a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the National Council of Family Relations. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1978, and was pleased to return back to the U of M in 2003. With her colleague, Professor Erin Kelly, she has just launched a major study (funded by the National Institutes of Health) of a major corporation's change in workplace policies aimed at promoting productivity by giving employees greater latitude over when and where they do their work. Moen and Kelly are assessing whether such a major transformation will also affect the health and well-being of employees and their families (Flexible Work and Well-Being). In her spare time Phyllis Moen finds five things irresistible: movies, popcorn, cooking, Dick Shore (her husband), and grandchildren.

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