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SOC366H1 (2)

Women and Work Midterm.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Stephen Reid

Week 1 Conceptualizing Gender and Work Padavic and Reskin Chapter 1Chapter 1Gender and WorkMight take work around us for grantedWhat Work is Workactivities that produce a good or service 3 kinds of work oForced workunder compulsion little or no pay slaves prisoners oPaid workmarket workoUnpaid work nonmarket work Forced workUScleaning sex industries sweatshops prison industries chain gangs Nonmarket workdomestic workwork done for self and household Distinction of market vs nonmarketby product of industrialization In the past people didnt see work as a separate part of their lifelife was work oAfter capitalismpaid labour showed up oAs paid labour increasedmany only treated paid work as real workunpaid work is devalued and invisible oWORKPAID WORKoSexgenderaffects what people doalso race and ethnicity and classSexGender Sexperson chromosomes biological Genderclassification social aspects exaggerate differences of malefemale Sex differentiationclassification into categories based on sex oBegins at birth Opposite sexhow society constructs male and female oLeads to sex inequalitydistinguishing male and female the need to treat sexes differentlysex differentiation part of sex inequalitysex gender hierarchyfavors men over women Gender differentiationsocial process createsexaggerates biological differences oDistinguish activity interest place as male or female oMake sure there are gender differences oClothingdistinguishes sex Transforming male and femalesimilar in biological terms into 2 groups that differsocial construction of gender Society constructs gender based on sex Sexhow others act towards themsex discrimination and sex segregation Genderingmale advantage is maintainedorganization favouring male Other things are important in distinguishing group as well Social construct of agesome countries dont have itImmigration created racial and ethnic differencesGendered work Genderingprocess of gender differentiation Genderedactivities attached to one or other sex 3 features of gendered workoAssignment on tasks based on sex oHigher value in men work than women oSocial construction of gender on the jobSexual division of labourassignment of task to men and women oDivision varies from countrytime periods oWomens more likely to be in mens joboTurnover of male employees are slow oLabel to one job belonging to a sexgender oSometimes women and children do mens job if they are busy Slavesdidnt have much sex separation of work Devaluation of womens workinequality of sexes oPreindustrial Europeneither sphere was subordinate oFrom major culture and religion Christianfemale servant not as valuable oMens interest to devalue womenmen are more important than women oDevaluationwhy there is pay gapif there are more females in the occupationless pay for both oTaught from childhood reduced entitlementgirls oMen exaggerated entitlement oCulture devalues womens jobConstruction of gender oResult of how the employer organizes the wok oHeavier weight liftingmen oEmphasis workers sex to divert attention from bad working conditions prevent collective action Cosmetic fashion shows In house selfimprovement programEmployer blind eye to sexual materialgendered work placepornography in lockers Gender displaylanguage or rituals of characteristic of one sexmarking work place as belonging to that sex oMale talking machotalking about sex girls sportscompetition oWomenswapping stories of male partner and children White men and women find jobs easierCHAPTER 1 SUMMARY 2Work can be defined as activities that produce a good or a serviceWork to include activities that produce goods and services for ones own use or in exchange for pay supportForced work performed under compulsion and provides little or no pay slavesPaid workMarket workUnpaid worknonmarket work people perform for themselves and othersForced work still existsWomen children recent immigrants and racial minorities are vulnerable to work in the sex domestic and cleaning industriesSweat shop found in the USDomestic work is an important form of nonmarket work yet it is work that is done for themselves and people within the householdDistinction between market and nonmarket work is a by product of industrializationOnly with industrialization and the development of capitalism was work equated with paid activityAs more workers were drawn into paid jobs however people increasingly treated paid work asthe only real work the unpaid work that people did in their own homes became devalued orinvisibleWorkers sex profoundly affects their work lives although the way that id does so sometimes depends on peoples ethnicity race and classSex a classification based on human biology Biological sex depends on a persons chromosomes and is expressed in reproductive organs and hormones Gender refers to the classification that social actors construct that typically exaggerate the differences between females and malesClassifying people into categories based on their sex is called sex differentiationOpposite sex how society construes males and females as not just different but also as diametrically opposedGender Differentiation social processes that create and exaggerate biological differences Distinguishes activities interests and places as either male or female When Americans began to color code babies clothing they dressed boys in pink and girls in blue however it wasnt until 1950s in which blue became defined as a masculine colorThe process of transforming males and femaleswho are vastly more similar than different in biological termsinto two groups that differ noticeable in appearance is part of the social construction of genderSex resembles the stone and gender resembles the soup Like the stone biological sex is the foundation in which societies construct gender Like the soup gender depends little on peoples biological sex and mostly on how societies embellish it Analogy pg 5Gender is a system of social relations that is embedded in the way major institutions including the work place are organizedThe assignment of different tasks to women and menwhich is termed the sexual division of labor is a fundamental feature of work85 of the worlds maids and housekeepers are women about half of the maids and housekeepers in Angola and India are male Women twice as likely to work within the food industryTypes of work become labeled in peoples minds as belonging to one sex and being inappropriate for the otherWomen and children frequently do mens jobs when production pressures are highWhen circumstances required assigning a person of the wrong sex to do a job in the family business the work was sometimes hidden behind closed doors in attempts to save losing statusSex differentiation fosters the tendency to devalue female activities and hence to sustain sex inequalityThe devaluation of women and their work is a key factor in the pay gap between the sexesMost doctors are male they are at the top of the hierarchy in the US in the former Soviet Union doctors were at the middle of the pay scale and the majority of the positions were held by womenCultural attitudes that devalue women are expressed in the lower value that many employers workers and societies place on the work that women usually do Gender differentiation plays a key role in sex inequality and so it is prevalent to varying degrees in every social institution including the institution of workEmployers often have a particular sex in mind when they create new jobs set pay levels and organize how work is to be done and under what conditionsEmployers may introduce gender into the work placeSome employers emphasize workers sex to divert workers attention from bad working conditions or to prevent collective actionGender displays language or rituals so characteristic of one ex that they mark the workplace as belonging to that sexEg macho behavior in blue collar jobsSocial interaction can also mark a workplace as off limit or open to the other sex although gender is often a ghost in the background of interaction rather than the focus of what is going onWomen also bring gender into the work place Swapping both positive and negative stories about partners
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