The Institution of Work & Gender Chapter 9 Garret McAlpine CMS 498 7/24/2012
Work as a Social Institution❖ The meaning of work is not universal. Certain types of work exist that are not really gender neutral.❖ The notion of “work” as something that occurs outside of the home is a Western bias.❖ Work expectations are not consistent across sexes. It is not a gender or sex-neutral institution.
Masculine VS Feminine❖ Work is best understood as a masculine institution.❖ In some ways, a man is not considered a man unless he is gainfully employed.❖ Work persists across time, composed of distinct social practices that recur.
Masculine VS Feminine❖ The work or job a man does is a major part of his identity and deﬁnes his level of manliness.❖ Every male U.S. citizen is expected to work, to become a “tax paying citizen.”❖ Predominantly, male occupations possess more social value as indicated by things like higher pay, more authority, prestige and greater opportunities for advancement.
Masculine VS Feminine❖ While many men and women who are parents also choose to work, there is less stigma around the father going to work every day as opposed to the mother who must put her children in day care and therefore open to greater criticism.❖ Women who have had to rely on welfare to raise their children are considered “bad mothers” because they remain at home and collect a check from the state instead of work full-time, even though full-time work may not be an option.
Masculine VS Feminine❖ Many job titles often have unnecessary gender labels assigned to them. Even if the job is considered gender neutral, there are societal expectations that the majority of workers in these various positions are predominantly either male or female, depending on the work.❖ Things like “male nurse”, “landlady” (instead of landlord), “female judge”, “male model” and so on. Each of these jobs as they stand alone do not deﬁne gender expectations in their respective roles. However, some feel it’s necessary to identify the gender speciﬁcs when discussing work labels so as not to confuse the recipient of the wording. It is not necessarily true that nurses or ﬂight attendants are mostly female, therefore it creates the necessity to identify individuals who choose to work in those ﬁelds who do not ﬁt gender expectations.
Gender & Work “Female” Judge “Female” Construction Worker “Female” Fire Fighter
Work VS Family❖ There is an intersection in the U.S. between work and family, often the cause of conﬂict.❖ Work and family are two separate institutions with diﬀering goals, values and demands.❖ Rapidly increasing time stress in U.S. culture causes many to choose work over family for the rewards it often promises.
Gender & Wage❖ The Census Bureau recently released updated state data on the gap between women’s and men’s earnings. In 2008, median earnings for women were $35,471, or 77.9 percent of men’s earnings, which totaled $45,556.❖ Women earned less than men in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia — but slightly more than men in Puerto Rico, where the median woman made 101.1 percent of what the median man made. Within the 50 states and the capital, the District of Columbia had the highest ratio of women’s-to-men’s earnings (88 cents on the dollar), followed by California, Arizona, Maryland and New York.The biggest wage gap was in Wyoming, where women earned 64.3 percent of men’s earnings.
Top 10 Facts About The Wage Gap1. In 2010 women who worked full time, year round, still only earned 77 percentof what men earned.2. The gender wage gap does not only affect individuals—entire families areimpacted by women’s earnings3. Women earn less than men within all racial and ethnic groups.4. Even though women are outpacing men in getting college degrees that’s notenough to close the gender pay gap.5. Women are more likely to work in low-wage, “pink-collar” jobs such asteaching, child care, nursing, cleaning, and waitressing.
Top 10 Facts About The Wage Gap6. The wage gap accumulates over time. Over a 40-year working career, theaverage woman loses $431,000 as the result of the wage gap.7. As women age the wage gap continues to grow. For working women betweenthe ages of 25 to 29, the annual wage gap is $1,702.8. Single women are even more adversely affected by the wage gap than marriedwomen. Single women earn only 78.8 percent of what married women earn,and only 57 cents for every dollar that married males earn.9. More than 40 percent of the wage gap cannot be explained by occupation,work experience, race, or union membership.10. Mothers earn about 7 percent less per child than childless women. Forwomen under 35 years of age, the wage gap between mothers and womenwithout children is greater than the gap between women and men.
Work & Gender Constraints❖ Evidence of unequal pay and treatment based on sex is undeniable.❖ Joan Acker pioneered a study of the way work is gendered through structure.❖ Her research concluded that “organizational structure is not gender neutral.”
Acker’s Five Reasons for Gender & Organization1. The sex segregation of work, including which work is paid andunpaid.2. Income and status inequality between women and men andhow this is created through organizational structure.3. How organizations invent and reproduce cultural images of sexand gender.4. The way in which gender, particularly masculinity, is theproduct of organizational processes.5. The need to make organizations more democratic and moresupportive of humane goals.
Acker’s Five Reasons for Gender & Organization❖ Represent ﬁve intersecting processes that make issues of power, control and dominance gendered.❖ Her pioneering research focused on the way in which work is gendered through organizational structure.
Conclusion❖ There is a direct correlation between gender and an unequal pay scale. The diﬀerence has existed for a very long time, even with factors like higher education, the fact remains that men statistically earn more than women for the same job.❖ Perceptions and expectations of gender play a role in how a hierarchy of power is formed. Who plays what role is determined by gender before other things, and expectations and relationships with co-workers and boss/employee can change based on that.❖ Despite equal ability, education, intellect and proﬁciency, race also plays a role in the gender wage gap. Work can constrain as well as liberate.❖ Everyone works, despite their gender identity. “If one does not work, that in itself is a basis for judgment.” (pg. 215) However, race and gender and being a parent all aﬀect income levels across various jobs and industries.❖ What we choose to do for a career is a large part of our identity, and gender plays a vital role in that. The work itself “genders and is gendered”.
Sources❖ http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983158,00.htm❖ http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-12/equal-pay-plaintiﬀs-burdenofproof❖ http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/04/wagegapfacts.html❖ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11511714❖ http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/236324-gender-wage-gap-progress-slowed-under-obama-report❖ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-white-houses-use-of-data-on-the-gender-wage-gap/ 2012/06/04/gJQAYH6nEV_blog.html❖ http://www.forbes.com/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myths/❖ DeFrancisco, Victoria L. & Palzewski, Catherine Helen, Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach. Los Angeles. Sage Publications, 2007. Print.