Sc2220 lecture 9 2012

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Lecture 9: Gender, Work and Division of Labor (2012)

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Sc2220 lecture 9 2012

  1. 1. Eric C. ThompsonSemester 2, 2011/2012
  2. 2. Where We Have Been… History of Gender Studies Sex/Gender Distinction Becoming Male or Female  Gender socialization; paths to learning gender. Gender Systems  Masculinity/Femininity  Gender as systems of beliefs and behaviors
  3. 3. Where We Are Going… Gender in Popular Culture  Gender in Advertising  Popular Culture Gender in Social Relations  Gender and Power  Gender and Work Gender, Here and Now  Gender in Singapore YOU ARE HERE
  4. 4. Recall from Last Lecture… Explaining Patriarchy (Gender and Power)  Baby Burden and Sexual Exchange  Political Economy  Culture, Ideology, Beliefs Political Economy in explaining Patriarchy:  How is value produced, who controls that value, who is dependent on whom? Today’s Lecture focuses on the contemporary political economy of work and jobs.
  5. 5. Today’s Lecture… Division of Labor and Gender at Work What is the “Double Shift”?  Women working a “double shift”  Domestic marginalization of Men Why is there a “Gender Gap in Wages”?  Choice Theory (women choose to ‘opt out’)  Gendered Organizations (Structural Discrimination)  Overt Discrimination
  6. 6. Video: The Double Shift Even within occupations, it seems that specialties are gendered (e.g., education, law, medicine). Why so? What is the “juggling act” referred to? Do men juggle? How much is the second shift worth, monetarily? Should homemakers be compensated for their years of work in the case of a divorce? Is it “fair” for the state to make women give up their jobs to men during times of national economic crisis? Is it a sound decision, economically? Is the state obligated to help working mothers? If society became more egalitarian, would we fully accept men as stay-at-home dads and homemakers?
  7. 7. The “Second Shift” for Women From work of sociologist Arlie Hochschild, “The Second Shift” (1989) Women work a “second shift” housekeeping and child care, after the first shift of paid work outside the home; Men don’t. In the 1970s-1990s women worked more than men (inside and outside the home). Recent research (in the United States) shows a lessening of the gap in the hours men and women work; though women do more domestic work and men do more work outside the home. (See: Time Magazine “The Chore Wars” 2011) Reason for the declining gap in the ‘double shift’: Men are working more as working-class and middle-class wages have declined.
  8. 8. Domestic Marginalization of Men• Women often complain about men’s lack of participation in domestic work; but many studies illustrate the domestic marginalization of men.• Women “protect” the home as their sphere of dominance.• Men are not trained to do domestic work and assumed to be incompetent.• See: Ashwin and Lytkina “Men in Crisis in Russia,” Gender and Society 18(2), 2004
  9. 9. Cultural Bias against Stay-at-HomeDads: The Case of “Poor T. Rex…” Discovery Channel: “Make Me a Dino” Dinosaurs have been found to be more like birds than lizards. T. Rex probably had colorful plumage, males may have nested on eggs Portrayal: “Poor T. Rex, reduced from King to Stay-at-Home Dad”
  10. 10. Based on genetics, the closest living relative to T. Rex is the Chicken
  11. 11. Stay-at-Home Dads Consider the issues raised in a “Stay-at-Home Dads” group: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VyuAs1h3z8 Or the representation of Stay-at-Home Dads in popular culture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmWp-rI6vSw
  12. 12. The Gender Gap in Wages Universal (global) and persistent  Everywhere, men earn more than women. Relative differences  Biggest Gap: UAE, Peru, Belize – Women earn 30% of men’s wages.  Smallest Gap: Iceland – Women earn 94% of men’s wages.  Singapore: Women earn ~65% of men’s wages (common for industrialized countries)
  13. 13. Explaining the Wage Gap Different Choices made by Men and Women  Men choose higher paid, more demanding jobs  Women choose lower paid, more flexible jobs that allow them to spend time with family  See: Kingsley Browne “Biology at Work” As Result of “Gendered” Organization  Corporations and other Institutions are structured in ways that discriminate (unintentionally)  See: Joan Acker “Hierarchy, Jobs, Bodies” As a Result of Overt Discrimination
  14. 14. Browne vs. Acker* Kingsley Browne: Women earn less because of the choices they make. Women “opt out” of high paying, but stressful and time- consuming jobs. Joan Acker: Women earn less because of the systemic, structural biases of institutions (companies, schools, etc.). These are not mutually exclusive; both are true. They overdetermine the gender gap in wages. *Required readings for this week.
  15. 15. Complexity of the Wage Gap Browne demonstrates: The most significant gap is between women who have children and all others. The gap between Single Childless Women and All Men is much less substantial. Married Men earn more than Unmarried Men. Singapore 2008 report claimed only 2% gender wage gap among new graduates…  BUT, these are almost certainly Single Childless Women! (A very biased sample for claiming that there is little or no “gender gap in wages”!)
  16. 16. Gender & Opportunity Structures Individual-level effects of availability factors: Women select jobs in which…  They believe they can get hired  They think they will be welcome  They believe they can succeed  This limits many “non-traditional” and sex-segregated occupations that may pay more, have higher status At the same time, women have the structural option of finding a partner who will provide surplus resources to them (sexual exchange theory) to a far greater degree than men.
  17. 17. Are Women today moreindependent than in the past? Sexual-exchange theory and political-economic theory (Huber) predict that patriarchy is correlated with dependence. The more dependent women are on men, the more vulnerable and disempowered they are. Women over the last fifty years have become less dependent on men on providers; but more directly dependent on employers and states. Unlike husbands and families, employers and states do not want children (they want workers and citizens). Hmmm… and we wonder why birthrates are falling?
  18. 18. Acker: Gendered Organizations Organizational practices and organizational processes create gender segregation. They also invent and reproduce gender norms. Acker is arguing that gender pervades institutional and organizational structures (Browne considers organizations to be basically ‘gender neutral’).
  19. 19. Gendered Institutions “Gendered institutions” (e.g. corporations, schools, etc.) “Gendered” Institutions are not (only) the result of gender difference; Institutions produce gender difference. Gender difference in one institution is affected by gender in other institutions in a society.  For example, gender differences in a corporate office will be affected by the production of gender in family life; and the gender in family life will be affected by the production of gender in corporate offices. No institution is “gender neutral” (even if it formally declares itself to be). Gender is a pervasive social and cultural system. Its effects can be reduced (or amplified) but no society is “free from gender.”
  20. 20. Is NUS a Gendered Institution? The figures above are from the United States. Would Singapore be any different?
  21. 21. Is NUS a Gendered Institution?Men on the NUS Board of Trustees: Women on the NUS Board of Trustees:Mr WONG Ngit Liong Mdm Kay Kuok Oon KwongMr Hans-Dieter Bott Ms Olivia LUMMr. Lucas Chow Mdm Halimah bte YacobMr Edward DSILVA Ms Yeoh Chee YanMr. Goh Yew LinMr. Han Book Kwang “Gendered Institutions” do notMr. Hiew Yoon KhongMr Hsieh Fu Hua always have formal rules basedProf Dr Olaf Kubler on gender.Mr. Michael LienProf Edison LiuMr Paul Ma They produce “gendered”Mr Chandra Mohan K NAIR outcomes based on multipleLG NG Yat ChungProfessor TAN Chorh Chuan factors both internal andProfessor SAW Swee Hock external to the institution, suchMr. Phillip TanMr. Sunny Verghese as…. SocialMr. Lucien Wong attitudes, preferences, opportuni ties, etc.
  22. 22. Are Career Ladders Gender-Neutral?• Most professions (corporations, universities, law firms) expect individuals to spend their 20s obtaining professional degrees; their 30s “building” their career; and becoming “established” in their 40s.• Is it fair to expect this equally of men and women?• Is it “fair” to ignore the relatively larger commitments women have to make to childbearing during these years (if they want to have children of their own)?
  23. 23. Glass Ceilings and Escalators Glass ceiling  Mostly-invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing to top levels at work Glass escalator  Mostly-invisible accelerator that pushes men into higher-level positions at work, more desirable work assignments, and more pay (even in traditional female occupations: nursing, teaching)
  24. 24. Overt Gender Bias• On top of Browne’s choice theory and Acker’s gendered organizations, there is often strong evidence of overt gender bias.• Research results: – When given mock job applications for gender neutral and traditional male jobs, more applicants with male names or male characteristics were offered the jobs, even when the applications (resumes) were identical in content. – When applying for child care jobs, the bias favored women (men were not offered the jobs).
  25. 25. Summary The Gender Gap in Wages, Three Explanations:  Choice Theory  Gendered Organization Theory  Overt Discrimination All three play a role. To what extent are they found in Singapore? See: Reading by Carol Tay
  26. 26. Questions… Do women in Singapore work a double shift?  Why or why not? Which women, under which circumstances? Do you see a “double shift” among your family or friends?  Are men you know (family, friends) encouraged or discouraged from doing domestic work? Why? Can you think of examples of the three causes of the gender gap in wages in Singapore: (1) choices women make; (2) structural/organizational gender bias; (3) overt gender bias? Which are most important or common in Singapore?

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