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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Textbook Notes

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Western University
Sociology 2169

Chapter Seven Discrimination and Harassment Discrimination Some occupational and sex segregation is the result of discrimination The gap in wages or promotions between men or women or between immigrant and non- immigrant workers is due to discrimination Systematic forms of discrimination o Ex. devaluing the kind of legal work women lawyers do What is Discrimination? Discrimination unequal and harmful treatment of an individual based on some characteristic such as gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or religion o Canadian Human Rights Commission ...discrimination means making a distinction between certain individuals or groups based on a prohibited ground of discrimination Prohibited grounds: race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, and pardoned criminal convictions o These are the grounds the human right commissions across the country can protect citizens from discrimination and harassment 1985 Henry and Ginzberg compared experiences of Black and White job applicants with equal qualifications in terms of education and experience o Found out that White workers are still more favoured in the job market than were Black Systemic Discrimination Human rights and pay equity legislation make it illegal for employers to state they will treat one group of workers differently than another Systemic discrimination (or institutional discrimination) informal practices embedded in normal organizational life, which have become part of the system o To see: look at the effects on groups of workers Happens when organizational policies and procedures or the regular operation of the business disadvantages certain groups of workers o Ex. historical occupational sex segregation leads to women being paid less than men Robson and Wallace studied the gender wage gap for Canadian lawyers o Found no disadvantage for women with pay, but rather women are disadvantages when it comes to the factors that positively affect earnings (autonomy and experience) o Conclusion: the way wages are determined for lawyers is part of a systematic gendered process that treats women differently than men Systemic discrimination can be intentional or unintentional o Unintentional: organizational policies may not be set up with the intent to exclude or disadvantage, but when put into practice, they can cause harm to certain workers Can occur because of hidden gendered and racialized processes of organizations Systemic discrimination and stereotypes reinforce each other o Ex. stereotypes of older workers being less flexible can result older workers to not be hired Experiences of Discrimination: A Brief Overview Primary issue for groups of workers is the barrier to good jobs Women Wage gap between men and women Experience glass ceiling in promotions can never go up men are more likely to promotion than women Women do not usually reach high positions in certain occupations (number of women reaching the top ranks in Canada will not reach 25% until 2025) People of Colour Visible minorities or workers of colour are overrepresented in low-paying occupations and underrepresented in higher paying occupations compared to Whites Have a sticky floor limits chances of initial advancement and a cement ceiling stops them from being promoted to top positions Immigrants Social policy issue for immigrants in the lack of recognition of immigrants foreign training and credentials Face discrimination when their first language is not English and/or speak with an accent o Need for Canadian English is form of systemic discrimination that acts as a barrier to immigrants chances in the labour market LCP Live-in Caregiver Program o Need to renew their employment authorization visa after one year o Have to get a letter from employer and must get one before they are allowed to change jobs o This makes them tied to a specific employer making it difficult to change jobs o Women do not feel free to leave their job is discrimination or harassment occurred Aboriginal Workers Face barriers in search for employment Have less education and higher unemployment rates than other Canadians Earn less than other workers More likely to work semiskilled and manual professions Historical injustices have contributed to this: o Long-term employment barriers make it impossible for them to get better jobs o Geography places limits on employment they live in remote areas that limit job opportunities and access to education and work training Face stereotypes of being adjust to city life and workplaces Only available to low-skill and part-time work are seen as incapable as holding down skilled jobs People with Disabilities Face barriers because of the inaccessibility to education and workplaces Lack of financial resources to attend school, inflexible workplace schedules, and lack of employers commitment to hire them are reasons that they have trouble getting jobs Hiring disabled workers is costly for employers Gays and Lesbians Being a gay or lesbian is deterrent to career success Hostility towards gays and lesbians in the workplace It is difficult for openly gay and lesbian workers to be accepted by their managers Both open and closeted gay and lesbian workers are affected by harassment and discrimination o If out are excluded from social activities o If closeted feel pressure to engage in heterosexualized banter and jokes US law continue systemic discrimination against gay and lesbian workers law not to protect gay and lesbian workers Older Workers Experience systemic negative stereotyping and discrimination against older people because they are old Ageism belief that older workers are less productive, slower to learn, sickly, unable to handle technological change, stuck in old ways Employers hold ambiguous attitudes and negative attitudes about the ability and desirability of older workers Ageism is harmful when associated with age discrimination Many see mandatory retirement to be a form of age discrimination Denied work because of their age Explanations of Workplace Discrimination Supply-Side Explanation of Discrimination Supply-side explanations emphasize how characteristics and attributes of employees, like education and experience, determine job o
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