vertical-segregation

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17 Jun 2011
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Sociology
VerticalOccupational Gender Segregation.
Intheworldof workitisnoticeablethatmen and womenarenotequallydistributed
throughout theworkforce. Vertical segregationoccurswhen therearegender differences with
clustering of malesand femalesat different levelswithinthesameprofession. Thiscan occur
when, forexample,thehigh salaryand high prestige jobsaretaken bymales,whilewomen
who may beequally wellqualifieddo notattainthesepositions.Anexampleof thiscan be
seen inthefieldof educationwhereprofessorsareveryoften male.
Theremaybeboth overtand covertdiscriminationgoing on here, allowing malesto
gainaccessto thetraining andthejobsthat lead to thiscareer track. Thisisdue to factors
such as sexismandpatriarchy whicharedeeplyrooted inmany cultures:sexismdistorts
reality,making behaviors seem natural when theyarerooted inentrenched systemsof power
and privilege(Andersen andTaylor,2000, p. 316) ItoccursforexampleintheInformation
technology industrywherestudieshave shown that themorehands onand technical roles
werelargelyundertaken bymen, whilewomen wereconcentrated insupportroles.Key
factorsherewerenotionsof competitivenessand thereinforcement of amasculine culture
aroundthesejobs(Whitehouseand Diamond, 2005, p. 559) Vertical segregationcreates a
glass ceiling,meaning an invisiblebarrier whichpreventswomen from gaining promotion,
and sometimesalsoamaleghetto, whichrestrictsmen to stereotypical roles.Theseare
cultural effectswhicharebased on habitsrather thanscientifically provabledifferences in
maleandfemaleability.
References
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