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Gender and Patriarchy
Transcript of Gender and Patriarchy
To think about work in this way work is approached as a social phenomenon. The module focuses on three central problems of organisation as highlighted by sociology.
Luyendijk, J (2011) "Women in Finance"
Are we equals?
Additional Reading from the media
Does Gender Matter at Work?
Approaches to gender
Toynbee, P (2004) "Equal Pay"
Allen, K (2011) "Women look away now: you are working for free"
Common Gender 'problems'
Unequal pay & benefits
Unequal Labour Market Participation
Overrepresentation in part-time work (by sector)
Employment opportunities limited by sector
Working longer and harder:
The ‘Second Shift’: unpaid labour at home
Mothering: the social demand for childcare from women (psychological self-definition)
Gender Quotas at senior levels
Maternity & Paternity rights
e.g. Right to request flexible working, equal rights to custody after separation between parents
Financial promotion of women’s education in ‘key’ areas
Minimum wage, tax credits etc.
Does Patriarchy cause Gender Inequality?
simply; 'are the men at the top just being mean?'
depends on your paradigm and how you understand patriarchy...
There have been attempts to categorise feminist theory into different 'strands':
liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, 'radical' feminism
Overall there is a broad post-structuralist theme in today's feminism
essentialism vs politics of difference
(For a detailed discussion see Maynard 1995)
"Although the social world of work is inordinately complex the variables of class, race and gender are significantly superordinate in the quest for explanation. Relationships at work are not constructed by the interaction of men and women, workers and bosses, blacks and whites, but by white male bosses, and by black female workers and by all the other possible permutations of this triangular social construct "
(Burrell & Morgan 1979)
focus on individual agency
focus on structures
Feminist theory has historically rejected the functionalist view
although there are some mavericks - see Hakim 1995
a functionalist backlash!
Hakim's alternative to the criticisms of Radical Feminists
argues that the feminist revolution "is over"
Categorises women’s lifestyle patterns into three types by choice:
women choose to prioritise family life, will obtain educational qualifications mostly for personal intellectual attainment, or as an 'intellectual dowry'
women may 'drift' into work careers without planning to, will obtain qualifications in order to continue to perform at work, but will juggle work and family commitments
women are 'committed to work' and invest in qualifications as part of a career strategy. As such, these women are likely to choose not to have children.
Gender is generally understood not as a matter of biology, but as a socially constructed category
examples of this approach then being applied to looking at work include studies of emotional labour, post-structuralist studies of employee's identity and organisational culture (see Leonard) and many other areas of research.
Gender is an achievement rather than a fixed category
Gender is not a property but something one does
Gender can be understood as a performance
These approaches emphasise the subjectivity of our experience
Social categories such as male or female are dependent on humans, they are not 'naturally occurring phenomena'
What is 'Patriarchy'?
Emotional Labour: "Women's Work"
Associated with interpretivist approaches
The presentation of self in everyday life (Goffman, 1959)
focus on performance:
Significance of ‘emotional labour’ (Hochschild, 1983)
Creation and management of impressions
Many ‘female’ occupations involve emotional labour
‘Womanly arts’ – gendered dimension of skill
Nurse, air-hostess, secretary …
Women’s work is often low value or ‘dirty’ work
Gender, Power & Discourse
Associated with post-structuralist approaches
What is a discourse?
language is key because it is the medium through which we interact with the world
Leonard (2003) 'playing doctors & nurses?'
the relationship between the subject and work, or the subject and gender is ambiguous
gender is about how people position themselves
Note that this is not just about feminism! There is a countervailing discourse about the 'feminization of work' (see Lee 2000)
So... there are multiple discourses, gender is just one! People draw on multiple discourses to construct an identity
Gender is not a fixed and stable concept
Gender has 'real' effects even though it can be understood as a 'social construct'
Inequality and under-representation still exist
People have different understandings of what it means to be masculine or feminine
People can be both trapped and liberated by these discursive constructions
Ellison, C (2013) "There's no sexism in gaming" (satirical article)
(K W Crenshaw 1989)
is 'patriarchy' a useful concept?
is gender inequality rational or a matter of powerful discourse?
how can gender be interpreted as an essential category and a constructed one?
Gorman, L (2004) "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Work"
What does this term refer
'a system of interrelated social structures through which men exploit women'
Middle English: from Old French
, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek
often, a traditional and male-based domination by a single dictator.
Patriarchy as a form of hierarchical order
Gender inequality is highly evident in the workplace
This is an issue both for women
Here are some problematic assumptions (for both genders!);
1 - men are in charge
2 - men own all the private property
3 - men control access to employment
4 - male or masculine behaviour is necessary to success and influence
5 - female work is not recognised or rewarded by (male) capitalists
6 - ideologies of work and family prioritise men's work
Radical Structuralist views
Radical Humanist views
Why is this gender-flipped video funny?
Many of these issues also adversely affect men, though this was not widely addressed by the feminist theory of the 1960s-1990s.
Structures of inequality and Capitalism
Walby (1986) argues that groups of men protecting their own interests to the detriment of women (and often, less powerful men) is not the same process as Capitalists (business owners) protecting their own interests (profits).
But sometimes these interests line up. So factory owners want to employ cheap workers to produce profit, and as the male workers are well-organised as skilled tradesmen the owners want to employ unskilled cheap women and children.
The male workers then use political power (theirs is often greater than the women's) to try to exclude women and children from working in 'dangerous' skilled jobs. Factory owners respond by creating two different types of job, on different pay.
See Walby (1986)
spot the odd one out...
Traditional authority (Weber) enforces male dominance and occupational segregation
A mechanical or organic division of labour? The effect is not often in line with economic rationality
Structures of patriarchy intersect with issues of class and status
Marxist approaches to the labour of reproduction (Walby 1986)
Tokenism (Moss-Kanter 1977) - sometimes functionalist...
Limiting opportunities for development
Distinction between roles of production and of reproduction
Slaughter, AM (2012) "Why Women Still Can't Have It All"