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Sociology 2R03 Lecture 1.docx

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McMaster University
Augie Fleras

LECTURE Framing the issues: Chapter 1 and 2 Rosabeth Canter: Men and Women of the corporation  Provides a grounded example of “doing sociology”  Corporate America was about an uneven distribution of men and women in a corporation; men took managerial positions and women took on the support positions o She noticed this distribution and she wanted to study the behavior of men and women in a corporate setting to see if their behaviors attributed to this distribution o She said it wasn’t really a case of maleness or femaleness but the differences were the result of structures that were deeply embedded in the corporate system o She narrowed it to 3 structural determinants: opportunity (men were groomed for success and they acted successfully, self fulfilling prophecy), power (argues that power influenced because men were expected to acted powerfully and women were expected to act passively), numbers (proportions made a significant difference within corporations, and women’s as tokens are exposed to certain expectations that intensify the marginalization and pressures that are put on the tokens to succeed) o Only when women are 1/3 of the corporate setting they lose their token trait and become real members of the corporate setting o Institutions are not neutral or value free or a level playing field but in fact there are structures within instructions that slant them in favor of those who are groomed for success and tilted away for the support staff o Structure is power because it has the capacity to constrain, facilitate, and control  Social location: argues that where you are located in an institution or society in terms of your status and role will have a profound influence how you relate to others and others relate to you, shape our identities and experiences  Paradox of 40 yers after her work, we have this bewildering conclusion to make that more things change the more they stay the same; Corporate Canada is immune to redistributing power and authority in institutions o Women occupy 15-20% of corporate positions in Canada o Women remain relatively insignificant in terms of numerical rations in corporate Canada o 1400 to 325 men and women promotion o Paradox of persistence o Situations where women are graduating university in higher rates then men, many newcomers in Canada yet still find themselves marginalized  Anne Marie Slaughter o Quit because of the fact that the way work organization is organized and said it is impossible to balance her life  The fact that we do have a structural situation that is in many ways patriarchal that corporate was created by, for, and about males helping them continuously to move forward and succeed; it if hard for women to achieve success in a world constructed as such  If we are going to bring about change can we simply tweak conventions about rules or do we need to take a revolutionary stand work on the principle that we need to change the rules that refer to conventions (household, business) Sandra Bem  Wrote an article who spoke about in a male dominated world that female differences were treated as female inferiority, and devalued as inferior and posing a threat  Canadian premiers have crushed the token status because there are 6 Chapter 1  We have the resources to create more equality in Canada  We have institutional initiatives  Canadians take great pride that we are equal  We need inequality in order to have an incentive to create and take risks and challenge conventional ways of doing things  Too much inequality can have a detrimental effect  It matters to those who are victimized  Society pays the price for inequality because health care costs which are significantly higher for those who live on the streets are born by Canadians o Individuals end up in the social justice system which happens in response to social inequality ($200 000 approx. per person in penitentiary)  When inequality becomes polarized it creates a reaction that disrupts the social trust and ruptures the social fabric in terms of the fact that those who don’t have a stake in the system have very little to lose o Uprising is an example  The super elite and affluent have also little stake in the system that they have so much wealth they feel disconnected from society, they are above and beyond the health care system and the public education system  Not everyone agree that social inequality is a problem, and they argue that is is a solution and can create a better society  We don’t want to assume that individuals are robots that react to the situations in which they find themselves  Structuration: if we want to understand human behaviour we need to understand it in an interplay between structure and individuals o Within that framework there is leeway for improving and creativity o We can play with a status but within limits  Neoliberalism creates patterns of inequality in Canada  Cultural values play a role in shaping distribution and scarce resources in society: those who are groomed to be successful will be successful  The world is contextua
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