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Week 12 notes Social Stratification- Gender inequality

by: Kristena Notetaker

Week 12 notes Social Stratification- Gender inequality 373

Marketplace > University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign > Sociology > 373 > Week 12 notes Social Stratification Gender inequality
Kristena Notetaker
GPA 3.6

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These notes cover week 12 materials (specifically the assigned readings). They go over theories proposed by Blau, Bielby, and Ridgeway which concern the gender pay gap and gender inequality in the ...
Sociology: Social Stratification
Class Notes
Gender, wage gap, wages, work, Labor, markets, inequality, gender inequality, sociology, stratification, Blau, Bielby, pay gap, men and women, Women, Ridgeway, gender roles, Culture
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kristena Notetaker on Tuesday April 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 373 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taught by Cragoe in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Sociology: Social Stratification in Sociology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Date Created: 04/12/16
Things to Learn: Bielby – The Structure and Process of Sex Segregation  The general neoclassical economic way of explaining occupational segregation and wage inequality: There are 2 aspects to the neoclassical economic approach. Those 2 are Human Capital and Statistical Discrimination.  The various sociological approaches: o Social psychologists: They say gender inequality is due to gender roles and the ideas of gender roles within society, and this influences the wage/pay gap o Feminist scholars: They say that wage inequality is due to the patriarchy and the men who are for the patriarchy who are helping to perpetuate this system. o Marxists: They say that owners of the means of production make and produce conflicts so it is hard to fight the system (since there are conflicts between people to begin with, it will be harder to fight the owners of the means of production). o Organizational theorists: They say that (or otherwise are concerned) with organizations and their functions and structures and how these structures influence inequality.  From neoclassical economics: o What’s the “human capital” explanation?: The human capital way of explaining things claims that women make or have less human capital, or more so put less time into acquiring human capital- they invest little into human capital due to focusing on childrearing, housework, and taking care of the family. Therefore, they have less actual reasons to invest in human capital, which would allow them to make more money and get into higher paying jobs.  What’s the “statistical discrimination” explanation?: Statistical Discrimination analyzes how employers/business owners, particularly men, use trends and/or statistics (whether they are accurate or not!) for deciding who gets a position: man or woman. Example: An employer thinks “Well, Lisa is more likely to not work for me long- term because statistics show that she is likely to have children and quit the job sooner than Brian would.” Or “Trends show that less women work these types of jobs compared to men, so maybe I should just hire Brian instead.”  Trends in “effort” of women vs. men in the workplace: Women tend to work harder even if they are paid less than men who are working less hard but still making more money.  Trends in discriminatory policy, and the two main sources of these policies:  How is “statistical discrimination” a self-fulfilling prophecy?: This has to do with feedback effects. An employer doesn’t want to (or is hesitant) to hire a woman because of supposed statistical trends… he or she then actually does not hire the woman due to these trends or statistics they are thinking about, so by not hiring the woman, the person is making these statistical trends come true or is affecting them- Feedback effects explain how gender differences in labor market outcomes “feedback” to the actual life of the woman: she is more likely to marry sooner and have children sooner and not work in these jobs if she can’t even get them in the first place.  Six kinds of approaches for explaining sex segregation and pay inequality: o Neoclassical o Social psychological o Institutional o Cultural o Political o Patriarchal  What do the Marxists, the radicals, and the Neoclassicals all ignore that creates the major flaw in their models? They tend to ignore the gender and/or culture ideology…one cannot ignore this! Blau – The Sources of the Gender Pay Gap  The two broad causes of the gender pay gap: Gender differences in qualifications and Discrimination  Trends in gender differences in qualifications: A common claim for gender differences in qualifications says that women have or are at least perceived to have less human capital than men.  Trends in labor market discrimination: Discrimination is a stronger predictor of the pay gap and wage differences via empirical evidence. The glass ceiling problem is also prevalent, which demonstrates how women reach a plateau in the labor market- they get into decent positions and even positions that pay higher (higher positions overall), but they are not allowed in the extreme-upper positions.  Definition of “labor market discrimination”: Discriminating on the basis of gender in a job or position which cause wage or occupational differences in pay.  Economic explanations for wage inequality: Becker Model and Monopsony.  “monopsony” (this concept isn’t well-defined; look it up, and we’ll talk about it in class): It’s like a monopoly- a particular buyer or group(s) of buyers control a particular part of the system. They have power over female employees. Example: They control the flow of information, or in other words they control from the woman ever knowing that they make less than other women, so discrimination doesn’t seem as bad (to the women employed and making less) because not ALL women are making less wages than the men. Therefore, discrimination is less likely to be pointed out by people, particularly the women.  “Feedback effects”: Gender differences in labor market outcomes feedback to the actual life of the woman: She is more likely to marry sooner if she can’t get a job…then have kids. This makes it even more unlikely she will get a boost in any career field she is in or ever work full-time again (or at least in her near-future).  “Wage structure”: Looks at changes in wages over time.  What story does the empirical evidence support? Discrimination  Why did gains in wage equality and desegregation slow down in the 1990s?: The progress of women in the job market started to decrease in the 1990s after the “boom” in the 80s- partially due to the glass ceiling problem, which was mentioned earlier. This means that women have reached a plateau and are typically not allowed in extreme-upper level positions. Ridgeway – The Persistence of Gender Inequality  Central argument, about using gender as a framing device: Gender is an important and focused part of peoples’ every day lives, and they often use gender as a way to relate to others. Stereotypes are prevalent and often gender stereotypes influence negotiations between people. To add, gender relationships are changing and the inequalities that still exist are being questioned in many different aspects of society- work/institutions, home, etc. Ways in which we think about gender are carried into our every day lives.  “cultural lag”: This refers to the idea that culture (such as old ways about thinking of gender) influences current social problems as it takes time for culture to catch up with the “new” and technological innovations. Cultural lag causes people to confront new situations which may also be uncertain with traditional or culturally perceived gender beliefs. Therefore, individuals rely on these convenient ideas to create new ways of doing things.  The three primary categories of “person perception” in the US: Sex category, race category, and age category.  Institutional identities as foreground identities, and gender identities as background identities: Gender as a background identity means that although it is easy to see someone as a man or a woman, that isn’t the only way we can define these people. Sex categorization usually enables us to quickly make sense of the other- but it’s not enough to understand the person fully. Contrast to institutional identities, gender (background identities) are more implicit. Institutional identities as foreground identities refers to the idea that these identities are more distinct- they usually provide more contextual definitions of the person and their behavior. Gonzalez (on Hochschild) – The Second Shift and Workplace Policies  Definition of “gender roles”: These are roles which are assigned or socially ascribed to either male or female, and are known as a set of norms (social and behavioral) and duties.  Distinction between sex and gender: Sex is biological and gender is how you identify or what you consider yourself (either male or female).  How do workplace policies affect gender norms?: People embody these gender norms and roles, and then frame policies based on them. In workplaces with more egalitarian policies, men and women tend to hold egalitarian views at home/outside of work. In workplaces where policies are more strict (only women get maternity leave, and even no pay for this leave as an example, and another example is more concrete work hours for both men and women) women and men tend to hold traditional gender roles. Johnson – Why American’s Women of Color Have Lost Ground Since The Great Recession  Impact of the 2008 recession on Black and Latina women, in terms of: o Employment rates: Lower employment rates o Net worth/wealth: Lower net worth and wealth- hit black and Latina women the hardest – “Nearly half of single women of color have zero or negative net worth, meaning their debts equal or exceed their total assets (Johnson).” o Access to health care: Returned to pre-recession levels with the help of the Affordable Care Act, although some states do not want to expand health coverage and this hurts many women because they are not necessarily at “poverty level” but a bit above- but they are still living in poverty!  Explanations for women of color suffering disproportionately from the effects of recession: There are not many that are in office (State or Government jobs), and the people who do hold office cannot connect or understand the circumstances women of color are in. Bedera – Is Barbie a Feminist Now?  The “Imagine the Possibilities” ad campaign  How does the commercial present gendered opportunities? Little girls playing with Barbie play sets that are occupational or male- dominated fields  How do the available products present gendered opportunities? They influence little girls to seek different careers, including male- dominated careers


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