SOCY 122 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Social Inequality, Sex Segregation, Consciousness Raising

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
Queen's University
Social Sci, Edu and Soc Work - Sociology
SOCY 122
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Social Inequality
Pos WWII political reason for sociologists to move away from Marx Class based theories
Marx believe the soviet union represented the future and not the West
Legal rational democratic societies developed marx’s two class model seemed irrelevant
Webers identification of class, status, and party suggested that variables effected the
distribution of power and prestige
Class was exchanged with occupation
Measured where people fit according to occupation
Status, income, occupational prestige
As firms grew in size financial rewards were tied to locations of hierarchy in social levels
Social Stratification
Davis and Moore argued that stratification as a universal phenomenon act as a sorting
Certain positions required certain talent and education
Late 60s Sociologists had few reasons to resist the functionalist frame work
Everyone was becoming middle class
Stratification theory focused on socioeconomic scales, allowed individuals to move easily
through the system
Critique of functionalist theory:
Basic premises problems, the income structure of modern society is not so neatly
arranged, the high salary don’t always have the most important job
Although all canadians have the right to education that formal equality does not
translate into genuine opportunity, some are awarded greater opportunities than
others, its not ability but advantage and connections
The apparent consensus on values in the post war period was an anomaly
Gender played virtually no role
Gender Inequality
The Gender and Work
Period of significant change have been referred to as waves
First wave feminist: improve access for daughters to education and workforce, did not
challenge female strength, their own class interests not all women
Second Wave: principle and rights that liberal democratic societies claimed to support,
less restriction in the work place, physical capacities were not a barrier to careers, equal
Change over the last 40 years:
Single male earner is not as common because
Women are encouraged for post secondary
Women's movement opened up greater opportunities in the labour force
60s and 70s were long term inflation, prices raising higher than wages, leading to
dual income families
When male primary income earner are compared to women primary income earners
women do not make as much
There is still a gender gap
The Genders Earning Gap
Looking at annual wages and salaries, women's earnings were 61% of males
Annual wages for full year full time, women earned 68% of males
Hourly wage rate women earned about 80% of males
Two categories that create the wage gap:
Observable wage determining characteristics; education, part time vs full time,
years of work experience, unionization, supervisor responsibility
Unexplained factors; forms of overt or covert discrimination; this declined in the 90s
The more the wage gap is determined by observable factors the closer we get to
eliminating the gap
Because women are more geared toward working part time, or less technical
education, or not a supervisor position, they are going to have a lower wage because
of that not because they are women
Women working full time would be earning as much as their counterpart if the
observable factors were the only ones affecting the wage
Marital status affected the wage gap
The smaller pay gap between men and women who had never been married was
mainly because they had the same intentions
The problem is is that there are significant social barriers that keep women from having
the same pay as men
The industry of where the person work
The work experience
Removing Systematic Barriers
Include a different cooperate culture that are more accepting of women
Wider and better access to child care
Men playing a larger role in the home life
Legislative protection for women who leave and return to work
Relatively Enduring Reality
Labour market segmentation between men and women
Women tend to work in restricted range of occupations; non unionized, part time, no
specific skills
Stratification and Gender
Catherine Hakim feminists sociologists reject the traditional review that women's
oppression can be handled by class analysis
Class and patriarchy are separate but interacting systems of oppression
Sex segregation in workplace and income gap cut across class lines, class alone is not
Dual earner families are only one of three options open to domestic groupings, also
could be sole male earner or sole female earner
Impact of social inequality is far great for women
Women tend to draw upon two avenues through marriage and work to get higher
Labour Markets
Anne Fearfull: Labour market is the primary means of allocating people to paid work
within capitalist economies/societies
Labour power is a commodity that is bought and sold in the labour market
Sociologists believe that the movement of the market is faster than the ability of a
person to adjust
Sociologists challenge the notion of market efficiency of resulting in perfect competition
More realistic to realize labour market imperfections
International Gender Division of Labour
Christine Bose: you encounter the reality that the core production processes are
carried out through the global north
Neoliberal global north
The international division of la bour is gendered in 4 ways:
Paid work is increasingly feminized in the service sector
Work in the paid labour force, requires flexibility, not full time
Growth in gray economy
Women who have become the primary labour market for the global north and
global south
Womens Movements