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SOC366H1 Chapter Notes -Paralegal, Grammatical Gender

Course Code
Stephen Reid

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page 135:
- the differences paralegals faced in expectations was due to gender differences in
emotional labour
- Women in emotional labour in terms of care
- Paralegals are to care for their bosses but both men and women have different ways of
dong so
- women tend to be overtly engaged with their job by displaying warmth and care while
men are polite with neutral behaviour in terms of care being distant. This behaviour is
termed by Hochchild - surface acting
- surface acting- acting as if one has a feeling through facial display, body movement, or
tone of voice
- men do surface acting by presenting a particular face or by turning down the volume
while women Hochschild calls do deep acting
- deep acting- actually evoking the feeling itself
- however Hochschild says that many women are not always feeling what they are
- men could get away with being polite instead of being nice and bowing out of the
caretaking, but women could not - in the case of Karen who acted like a men in the
paralegal profession being just polite. However, she was not given a raise since her
manager thought that she was uncooperative and her working relation was lacking
- women paralegals were aware of this gender division of labour and how it affected them
psychologically and complained about their bosses expectation of them having to be like
their mother
- however most women did engage in the emotional labour at some point since and
women like Karen were only 10% and 50% of women went through of the mothering
expectation but complained while doing it, and than at the end of the continuum there
women who were plain nice
- why do some women feel compelled to perform this aspect of emotional labour and
others do not? : Structurally female dominated jobs like paralegal demands specific types
of emotional labour from women. Not only are women expected to be deferential and
carry out care tacking but also they are expected to be cheerful, reassuring, and attentive
to the moods and feelings of others. Women must perform such emotional labour if they
intend to keep their jobs and if they do not they are deemed to have bad working
relations. Thus, women comply with feeling rules because they cannot afford to do
otherwise if they entered this occupation to stay
- structural argument: his entails the gendered constraints women in paralegals face and
suggests economic incentives for women to comply with the feeling rule
- however reliance on structural explanation denies the agency to social actors that is also
observed - it assumes that legal assistants are forced to perform emotional labour so to
improve this we will focus on the behavioural component
- behavioural component: women perform different kinds of emotional labour
-according to Zimmerman their is a way of acting that is consistent with their notions of
gender appropriate behaviour
- the feminized structure of paralegal work sets gender limits on women's behaviour
which is unlike men, women are expected to be affectionately engaged
- yet, women vary among themselves having some doing traditional care giving roles,
others adopt a more distant relation to these limits performing the labour role, and small
number of women cross over these boundaries refusing to adhere to these limits and
instead do gender by being professional which is the same as being like men which
downplays any association with traditional female roles
- despite these variations women have a common concern with relationships
- Chodorow's theory of gender identity: women develop a sense of self as empathetic
and nurturing through the early mother-daughter relationship
. As a consequence female identity comes to be defined through attachment and relation
to others. For some paralegal women this is expressed through the performance of
emotional labour and others in their continuing preoccupation with relational issues
- Chodorow's theory alone cannot explain why women are relational in some context and
not in others. Her theory cannot address this because it does not explain the relationship
between occupational structure and personality
- however by integrating her concept of gender identity with this specific occupational
context, the continuity and variation in women's behaviour can be explained
- the occupational place gendered limits on behaviour and women respond actively and
creatively to these limits to construct an emotional style that is in line with their notion of
gender-appropriate behaviour
- gender shapes the structure of the occupation by setting limits on women's behaviour
which at the same time women negotiate within and around these limits, reproducing
gender in their interactions with others by being nice reassuring, and attentive to the
feelings of others or through their preoccupation with relational issues
- men's behaviour in structural terms is that they must also comply with emotional norms
however have different expense which allows them to get away with being polite rather
than nice playing the role of political advisor rather than a nurturer and have more
advantages simply because they are men
- men in women occupation do gender in these ways to emphasize their differences as
men and downplay and similarities to their women coworkers
- men have a specific gender identity- men do gender because they have a sense of self as
masculine. Chodorow's theory suggests that masculine gender identity comes through a
definition of self as separate from the mother
- masculine style of emotional labour: polite, surface acting (distance men from feminine
aspects of job) and lastly men chose to exclude themselves from all female informal
social activities to enhance their gender identity as masculine
- gender is an integral part of occupational structure, identity, and behaviour
- emotional labour serves to reproduce the sex-segregated structure of law firms