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Chapter 7

Chapter7- Gender Inequality.docx

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Sociology 2140
Paul Whitehead

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7-Gender Inequality January-07-13 9:15 AM  Sexism: belief that innate psychological, behavioural and/or intellectual differences exist b/w men and women and that these differences connote the superiority of one group and the inferiority of the other o Result in prejudice and discrimination at both the individual and institutional level o Individual discrimination- not hiring male nurse b/c you think he's less nurturing o Institutional discrimination- built into fabric of society, women having a harder time finding jobs  Discerning bias for discrimination difficult b/c gender, age, sexual orientation and race intersect  First nations, visible minorities, disabilities earn well below Canadian avg  Women's earnings below men, 70.5% of what men earned  Simply receiving earnings can be difficult with compounding minority status and gender inequality o Double, triple (multiple) jeopardy- person is a member of two + minority groups  Gender: social definitions and expectations associated with being m/f  Sex: persons biological classification as m/f 7.1 THE GLOBAL CONTEXT: THE STATUS OF WOMEN AND MEN  Inequality not simply conceptual, concrete structural denial of health care, food and social status  Millions of women around the world still victims of violence, discrimination and abuse o +60mill young girls, predominantly in Asia listed as "missing" likely victim of infanticide or neglect o +2mill girls b/w 5-15 forced into the sex trade each year o Half mill women die of complications from childbirth year- 20x more seriously injured/disabled in childbirth o 2/3 worlds 876mill illiterates are women o 1/3 women abused, beaten or coerced into sex  Female Genital mutilation (FGM) clitorectomy and infibulation (stitched together) occurs at infancy, reopened for marriage and delivery then closed again o Practiced for economic, social, religious reasons o Cannot be viewed as "male dominance"/ "cultural imprisonment" does and injustice to culture and women o Women's health should be death with holistically - literacy, leadership skills, social development, allowing women to decide when to address change in FGM 7.2 SOCIOLOGIAL THEORIES OF GENDER INEQUALITY  Structural-functionalism and conflict theory focus on how structure of society and institutions contribute to gender inequality- different development/maintenances views  Symbolic interactionism focuses on culture of society how gender roles learned through socialization process Structural-Functionalist Perspective Argue pre-industrial society required division of labour based on gender- women were to be at  home bearing, nursing, caring for children while men worked long hours to provide shelter/clothing/food  Division of labour was functional for society and overtime became considered normal and natural -male centered view of what's beneficial for society  Industrialization rendered traditional division of labour less functional  Conceptions of families have changed, more women work outside the home and greater role variation in the division of labour  ARGUE: as the needs of society change, associated institutional arrangements also change Conflict Perspective  Relationship men/women have to production process shapes male dominance and female subordination  Society evolved to agricultural and industrial modes of production, private property developed men gained control of production while women remained in the home o Inheritance laws ensured ownership remained in men's hands o Laws regarded women as property ensured women would stay in the home  Industrialization continued production moved away from home, male-female gap grew - women had less education, income, occupational skills  WW11- allowed women to work, most continued to post war  States show that although women are entering male dominated workforces wages are still lower & their more likely to work part-time jobs  ARGUE: continued male dominance requires belief system supporting gender inequality o (1) women are inferior outside the home (less intelligent, reliable, rational) o (2) women more valuable in home (maternal instinct, naturally nurturing)  UNLIKE functionalists- women subordination consequence of social inducement not biological differences Feminist/Queer Perspective  Expressive Roles: nurturing and emotionally supportive roles that women are generally socialized into  Instrumental Roles: task-oriented roles that males are generally socialized into 7.3 GENDER STRATIFICATION: STRUCTURAL SEXISM  Structural Sexism: ways in which the organization of society and institutions subordinate individuals and groups based on their sex classification o Resulted in gender differences- edu attainment, income, occupational/political involvement Education and Structural Sexism  Only 70% as many of women as men are literate in the worlds least developed countries. EX: only 31% as many women as men as literate in CHAD  Women's education is imp in its own right but also related to child mortality- under 5 mortality rate twice as high for illiterate women  CAN proportionate number of women with earned university degrees increased noticeably over the decades  Women may earn less doctoral degrees then men because they're socialized to choose marriage and motherhood over long-term career preparation  Often look at earnings gaps for women from working less hours, wage gaps exists where there are actual pay differences in men/women  Wage gap widespread in all occupational categories, women only earn more than men in social work m otherwise men still earn more then women, even in women dominated fields except social work  Percentage of females in an occupation best predictor of an income gender gap- higher % women, lower the pay 1. Devaluation Hypothesis: argues that women are paid less because the work they perform is socially defined as less valuable than the work performed by men o Devalued because the involve Emotional Labour: work involves caring, negotiating and empathizing with people, all takes that are rarely specified in job descriptions or performance evaluations o More support for this hypothesis 2. Human Capital Hypothesis: female-male pay differences are a function of differences in women's an men's levels of education, skills, training, and work experience o Comparable worth: tasks / jobs that are distinct but have equal value/ utility in the workplace and economy o Test hypothesis by comparing earnings of people in different occupations with comparable worth but different gender compositions o Support- on career entry, employers channel women and men into sex-specific jobs that carry different wages  Women's lower amount of work experience appears to have a significant bearing on the persistent wage gap b/w men and women- 18% wage gap reflected this o Also differences in job tenure and men more likely to graduate from programs leading to higher paying jobs and earnings Work and Structural Sexism  Women make 1/3 labour force, work in jobs little prestige and little/no pay, facilitators for others and no product is produced, hold positions of little/no authority, more frequent longer periods of unemployment  19thc men were clerks because it held prestige as the job became routine and prestige declined, number of female clerks increased became women dominated with low pay  Occupational Sex Segregation: concentration of women in certain occupations and men in others o Women tend to be more highly concentrated within fewer occupations while men are more evenly distributed across a larger range of occupations o Over last decade women managers increased by 40%  CONTINUES: o Cultural beliefs about what is an appropriate job for a man or a woman still exist o Men have more negative attitudes towards women as managers than women o As colleagues these men would not endorse initiatives to help develop women's careers, provide poor leadership and mentorship, act as poor role models for other men, unlikely to support career aspirations of female partners  Pink -Collar Jobs: jobs that offer few benefits, low prestige and are disproportionately held by women  Glass Ceiling: invisible socially created barrier that prevents women and other minorities from being promoted into top corporate positions, victimizes women even in higher paying jobs  Family responsibilities remain primarily with women , working mothers may feel pressure to choose professions with flexible hours/career paths sometimes known as "mommy tracks"- EX: women dominate elementary edu Politics and Sexism  1918 CAN women won the right to vote in federal election o First granted to shite women, other women from different ethnic groups received the right later on o Aboriginal women had to give up status in order to vote & became automatically "enfranchised" if married a white man according to the "Indian Act"  Worldwide % women hold legislative seats 30-40% in Scandinavian countries <1% Middle East/African  Kim Campbell 1993 first female prime minister <6 months term  More imp political office les likely a women will hold it- large sums of money, backing of powerful ind & willingness of public to vote for women o Women only elected after great losses or "lost cause" ridings (another party has main voter support anyway) Human Rights Structural Sexism  1970 Report of the Royal Commission recommendation- legislature reform; criminal law, tax/childcare allowances, social assistance, immigration and family law o On occasion women may demand need special treatment (i.e.. Maternal leave) o "equality of treatment" ( formal equality) & "equality of outcome" (substantive equality)  Canada's Income Tax Act cannot regard cost of childcare as a legiti
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