Elite, Heterosexual Women and the Condensed Courtship Clock
Katherine Fallon and I studied how elite women balance their romantic and professional aspirations. We interviewed single, college-educated women living in New York City. We found that women have a shared timeline for their lives—they intentionally pursue self-development before feeling ready to search for a spouse. This timeline creates a narrow window to find a partner that we call the ‘condensed courtship clock.’ Women who struggle to meet this timeline are criticized for the time they invested in self-development and are seen as incomplete. As these elite women adapt their individual expectations for family and self to conform to a common timeline, they uphold the two-parent, married family as normal and desirable. This paper won the ASA Section on Aging and the Life Course Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award. Read the full paper here.