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Gender and Work (1) Dr Rhoda Wilkie SO 1004. introduction and reminder … last week – gender and sexuality becoming gendered and doing gender? categorise.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Work (1) Dr Rhoda Wilkie SO 1004. introduction and reminder … last week – gender and sexuality becoming gendered and doing gender? categorise."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Work (1) Dr Rhoda Wilkie SO 1004

2 introduction and reminder … last week – gender and sexuality becoming gendered and doing gender? categorise people in society how does gender influence employment opportunities and life chances? is work gendered? if so, what are the implications?

3 work and home: historical overview industrialisation: public and private spheres domestic ideology ideal family: breadwinner (male) and housewife (female) roles family wage women and work is housework real work?

4 separation of work and home pre-industrial society – no separation e.g. cottage industry industrialisation: separation of work and home production separated from consumption

5 social life: public and private spheres Public paid work, politics, market, arena of male activity (masculine) instrumental: objective and impartial Private domestic life – home and family womans domain (feminine) expressive: emotional and nurturing

6 Rosemary Pringle in Abbott et al (2005: 231) Though home and private life may be romanticized, they are generally held to represent the feminine world of the personal and the emotional, the concrete and the particular, of the domestic and the sexual. The public world of work sets itself up as the opposite of all these things: it is rational, abstract, ordered, concerned with general principles, and of course, masculine … For men, home and work are both opposite and complementary … [For women] home is not a respite from work but another workplace. For some women work is actually a respite from home!

7 implications and justifications? economic life reorganised – emergence of waged labour reordering of gender relations, roles and expectations legal, moral, medical discourses legitimate changes?

8 domestic ideology initially bourgeoisie – emerging middle class in Victorian society home – womans natural sphere women and mothers – moral guardians protective work legislation effect women from different classes in different ways

9 ideal family working class – embrace cult of domesticity non-working wife becomes the ideal cereal packet family – nuclear family – norm sexual division of labour: breadwinner and housewife

10 family wage: breadwinner role mid 19C – male working class via trade union movement – family wage created breadwinner role exclude women from male skilled jobs: inequality? women financially dependant – power?

11 women and work (1) working women threat? gendered occupational segregation: - horizontal – mens jobs & womens jobs - vertical – glass ceiling confined to lower-status and lower paid jobs concentrated in jobs women were naturally skilled at

12 women and work (2) reserve army of labour? e.g. during First and Second World Wars - return to main domestic role: housewife

13 domestic labour: is it real work? if employed in public domain – paid homework? private sphere: womens work, unpaid and hidden labour natural aptitude – mothering and domestic tasks

14 The sociology of housework (1) Ann Oakley bias:– male work patterns – norm? 1974 – first published study about housework – classic study interviewed 40 women – London housewifes average working week in 1971 – 77 hours! separated housework and childcare

15 The sociology of housework (2) Ann Oakley marriage and the division of labour (reading for this week!) questioned claims of increasing equality; class differences; beliefs and attitudes feminists: housework is real work

16 housework: differs from waged work? gendered labour – carried out mainly by women closely linked with personal intimate ties no fixed job description, no agreed hours or conditions of work boundaries unclear –end?

17 division of labour technical – divide job into specialised tasks - skill and power hierarchy – not all tasks equally valued social – different jobs done by different social groups -primary labour market (full-time – good working conditions) -secondary labour market –(part-time – poor conditions) sexual - horizontal – e.g. mens jobs & womens jobs - vertical – e.g. glass ceiling

18 summary (1) historical overview: industrialisation – separation of work and home public domain (masculine) and private domain (feminine) gendered roles: breadwinner (male) and housewife (female) housework: real work (Oakley 1974)

19 summary (2) labour is gendered – varies and changes division of labour: technical, social, sexual sexual division of labour - socially constructed not based on natural/biological differences jobs become identified as mens or womens work; then it is argued that men and women do these jobs because of natural biological differences (Oakley in Abbott et al 2005: 232)

20 tomorrows lecture: … but that was then – how relevant is all this now? legacy of domestic/familial ideology? consider some current statistics related to work patterns for men and women men do womens work and vice versa: experiences? is womens work ever done?: double day/second shift consider Sylvia Walby s work (offers a feminist explanation) she claims there has been a shift from private patriarchy to public patriarchy


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