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Lecture 1 - copy 1.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Stephen Reid

Lecture 1 Thinking about Gender & Work: The Basics Structure and Agency  A simple way to put it is: Individual people make choices in their work lives, but under social conditions that they themselves did not choose  structural factors play a huge role for the type of choices that are available to make. For example, the state of the economy affects what choices you can make.  Individuals do have choice and agency, however, it is constrained. Constrained Choices  For sociologists, the choice of an individual is not a satisfactory explanation for why someone is a cleaner or a trader, a steel maker or a stay at home mom; or whether one is a temporary or a permanent employee, or works part-time or full-time  constrained choices is basically making choices within a structure that constrain their options. This is the interaction between structure and agency. Sex versus Gender Sex  Based on chromosomal differences, hormonal differences  based on physical appearance and observed behaviours  An example of this is that runner named Castro who was judged for her sex because she had too much testosterone even though she identified herself as a female. Gender  How others perceive you and treat you and based on that perception  How you behave based on gender identity and social perceptions  Social Construction, Interaction  o masculinity and femininity social constructions . example - the color pink was associated with boy but now it is obviously for girls now. Secretary was male dominated but obviously not anymore - changes because of social construction and institutionalization of gender o We create gender,and a world of 2 sexes, it is embedded in our every day. Because it is pervasive, it gets institutionalized. We naturalize assumptions. o Gender is a performance. o Institutionalization - implanted in jobs. When you think firefighter, you think male. How doing gender get built into state, family, work. WORK and GENDER- Unpaid and Paid One’s gender makes a difference in all domains of one’s life IE gender has effects in the workplace In particular, it leads to gender inequality in aspects of work.This is the outcome of gender discrimination Major issues: What are the forms of gender inequality in the workplace? What are the causes? What can be done about it? (remedies) Why are those remedies often resisted? What can be done about overcoming the resistance to remedies for gender inequality? IE gender has effects on how we think about the family and the division of household labour In particular, it leads to inequalities in the division of household labour and childcare This is the outcome of i) the ways we construct gender and organize individuals based on gendered ideologies; choices are also involved Major issues: 1. How did paid work come to be defined as male? 2. Why do women continue to do the majority of housework/childcare even though the majority of women now work for pay? 3. How do class and race/ethnicity intersect with gender to influence family forms, the division of housework, and paid work? NOTE: Many young women believe that: Gender inequali
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