The Institution of Work & Gender Chapter 9 Garret McAlpine CMS 498 7/24/2012
Work as a Social InstitutionThe meaning of work is not universal. Certain types ofwork exist that are not really gender neutral.The notion of “work” as something that occurs outside ofthe home is a Western bias.Work expectations are not consistent across sexes. It is nota gender or sex-neutral institution.
Masculine VS FeminineWork is best understood as a masculineinstitution.In some ways, a man is not considered aman unless he is gainfully employed.Work persists across time, composed ofdistinct social practices that recur.
Masculine VS FeminineThe work or job a man does is a major part of his identityand deﬁnes his level of manliness.Every male U.S. citizen is expected to work, to become a “taxpaying citizen.”Predominantly, male occupations possess more social value asindicated by things like higher pay, more authority, prestigeand greater opportunities for advancement.
Masculine VS FeminineWhile many men and women who are parents also choose to work, there isless stigma around the father going to work every day as opposed to themother who must put her children in day care and therefore open to greatercriticism.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 thestate instead of work full-time, even though full-time work may not be anoption.
Masculine VS FeminineMany job titles often have unnecessary gender labels assigned to them. Evenif the job is considered gender neutral, there are societal expectations that themajority of workers in these various positions are predominantly either maleor 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 deﬁnegender expectations in their respective roles. However, some feel it’s necessaryto identify the gender speciﬁcs when discussing work labels so as not toconfuse the recipient of the wording. It is not necessarily true that nurses orﬂight attendants are mostly female, therefore it creates the necessity toidentify individuals who choose to work in those ﬁelds who do not ﬁt genderexpectations.
Gender & Work “Female” Judge “Female” Construction Worker “Female” Fire Fighter
Work VS FamilyThere is an intersection in the U.S. betweenwork and family, often the cause of conﬂict.Work and family are two separate institutionswith differing goals, values and demands.Rapidly increasing time stress in U.S. culturecauses many to choose work over family for therewards it often promises.
Gender & WageThe Census Bureau recently released updated state data on the gap between women’sand men’s earnings. In 2008, median earnings for women were $35,471, or 77.9percent 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 101.1percent of what the median man made. Within the 50 states and the capital, theDistrict of Columbia had the highest ratio of women’s-to-men’s earnings (88 cents onthe dollar), followed by California, Arizona, Maryland and New York.The biggestwage 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 ConstraintsEvidence of unequal pay and treatment basedon sex is undeniable.Joan Acker pioneered a study of the way work isgendered through structure.Her research concluded that “organizationalstructure is not gender neutral.”
Acker’s Five Reasons for Gender & Organization 1. The sex segregation of work, including which work is paid and unpaid. 2. Income and status inequality between women and men and how this is created through organizational structure. 3. How organizations invent and reproduce cultural images of sex and gender. 4. The way in which gender, particularly masculinity, is the product of organizational processes. 5. The need to make organizations more democratic and more supportive 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.
ConclusionThere is a direct correlation between gender and an unequal pay scale. The difference hasexisted for a very long time, even with factors like higher education, the fact remains that menstatistically 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 andrelationships 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 genderwage 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 forjudgment.” (pg. 215) However, race and gender and being a parent all affect income levelsacross various jobs and industries.What we choose to do for a career is a large part of our identity, and gender plays a vital rolein that. The work itself “genders and is gendered”.
Sourceshttp://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983158,00.htmhttp://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-12/equal-pay-plaintiffs-burdenofproofhttp://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/04/wagegapfacts.htmlhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11511714http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/236324-gender-wage-gap-progress-slowed-under-obama-reporthttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-white-houses-use-of-data-on-the-gender-wage-gap/2012/06/04/gJQAYH6nEV_blog.htmlhttp://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. LosAngeles. Sage Publications, 2007. Print.