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SOC341H5 Chapter Notes -Occupational Segregation, Sex Segregation, Mena

Course Code
Lina Samuel

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Lecture 2 :Chapter 6: Occupational Segregation
Tracy Adams and Sandy Welsh
-Where people work and what they do depends on their gender, race and/or ethnicity,
and other factors
-These differences are significant because they have implications for inequality
-Occupations for men and women and members of various groups are different and so
are their rewards, opportunities for promotion, job security and so on
-Traditionally, white women and men and women of colour, have fewer opportunities
for good-paying, meaningful work leading to promotions than have white men
-Occupational segregation occurs when people from different social categories do
different types of work eg. Age, race
-Sex segregation occurs when men and women work in different occupations, jobs,
and/or workplaces
-Racial segregation occurs when people from different racial and ethnic
backgrounds work in occupations, different jobs
-Vertical segregation = occupation segregation assoc. w/ income inequality
-Horizontal = diff groups work in diff jobs (often diff sectors of economy)
earnings are comparable when shouldnt be since diff work+sector should
= diff pay
The Extent and Nature of Sex Segregation
-When measuring the extent of segregation - index of dissimilarity - % of people
who would have to change their occupation to = unsegregated occupational
oIndexes found of dissimilarity of 70.7% for 1961 and 68.8% in 1971- Now 50%
of women would have had to change jobs to have the same occupational
distribution as men
-Beilby and Baron examined:
oFound that sex segregation at the level of jobs is higher than occupational-
level segregation for two main reasons:
1) men and women share a broad occupation category and do similar work,
they are often given different job titles, when different incomes and
opportunities for advancement
2) Men and women rarely do similar work in the same organization and
The Extent and Nature of Racial Segregation
-The highest number was for men of Jewish background in 1971, 51% whom would
have to change jobs to resemble the labour force as a whole

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-Among those with the lowest amount of occupational dissimilarity are people from
British, German, Polish and Ukrainian and the French decent ; their employment is
more evenly distributed across occupations
-Womens employment continued to be less ethnically segregated than mens because
womens employment tends to be concentrated into fewer job categories
If people from different racialized backgrounds do different types of work, what
kinds of work do they do?
-Jewish men and British = mostly to be in high status mngmnt jobs
-Visible minorities make up about 12.6% of the Canadian workforce and are
underrepresented in management and skilled trades jobs and overrepresented in
semiskilled, manual, sales and service work
-Occupational status: perform jobs that are admired and well-respected in society-
People of colour are less likely to hold positions of status and authority
oOnly 3% of Canadian organizations have visible minority CEOs
-While the sector as a whole employs people from a variety of racialized communities,
each firm tends to hire workers from predominately one or two backgrounds only
Implications of Occupational Segregation
Sex & racial seg. Not only differences but = inequality in
Income/Opportunities for advancement/promotion/exercising authority
-Some of the gender gap in wages is due to women working part time than men,
however even among fulltime workers, women on average make only 71.3% of what
men do
-The earnings of all workers- women, men, whites, African Americans, Hispanics,
and Asians- are lower in predominantly female occupations
- racial segregation similarity contributes to racialized differences in earnings
-people of colour tend to earn less than others and Jewish backgrounds in tended to
make roughly $6, 200 more on average than the rest of Canadian labour force
osome of these differences in earnings can be explained by education but
Chinese and blacks had lower returns on their education and occupation
-Double hit on women because they earn less income compared to males
and again earn even less anyways because they work in predom. Womens
occupation which is already less income paid
Opportunities for Promotion and Advancement
-glass ceiling for women
-glass escalator for men

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- most jobs leading to top management positions stem from entry level jobs in which
men predominate
Authority and Power
oAbility to make decisions at work and exercise autonomy is affected by race
and gender
Women even though entering into managerial positions, still exercise
less authority than men in same position = gender gap is diminishing
but sex segregation still shapes the ability of men and women to
exercise authority and make decisions at work
People of colour more likely to be at lower level positions
oOccupational segregation both reflects and reproduces broader social
oMyths about segregation
Segregation as a result of personal choice
The cultural and social differences between men and women
and people from diff racial backgrounds leads them to choose
diff types of work
oi.e. women play with dolls when kids and thus more
likely for them to become teachers or childcare workers
= gender socialization
owomen choose job b/c easier to combine with
childrearing when truth is that its not always easy to
combine female domin. Job with it
oi.e. if women choose the same job as men do, why does
she get paid less than the men and have fewer
opportunities for a promotion?
oi.e. men and women of colour disproportionately
employed in low paying jobs = cant be because of their
cultural backgrounds = choose least attractive job!!!
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