Gender gap 

Spread the love

Gender gap 


  • Although the focus on gender difference is a minority position in contemporary feminism, some influential contributions to modern feminist theory take this approach (Baker Miller, 1976; Burnico, 1980; Gilligan, 1982; Kessler and McKenna, 1978; Ruddick, 1980; Snitto , 1979). There are also research papers (Masters & Johnson, 1966; Height, 1976) with findings on male/female differences that have deeply influenced contemporary feminist thought. Contemporary Literature on Gender Differences

The central theme is that the inner mental life of women, in its overall configuration, is different from that of men. in their core values and interests (Rudick, 1980), the way they make




  • value judgments (Gilligan, 1982), their formulation of achievement motives (Kauffman and Richardson, 1982), their literary creativity (Gilbert and Guber, 1979), their sexual fantasies (Height, 1976; Redway, 1984; Snitto, 1983), In their sense of identity (Law & Schwartz, 1977), and their general processes of consciousness and selfhood (Baker Miller, 1976; Kasper, 1986), women have a distinct vision and a distinct voice for the construction of social reality. The second theme is that the overall configuration of women’s relationships and life experiences is unique.


  • women relate to their biological offspring differently from men (Rossi, 1977; 1983); boys and girls have distinct styles of play (Best, 1983; Lever, 1978); Adult women relate to each other (Bernico, 1980) and to women’s studies as scholars (Asher et al., 1984) in unique ways. In fact, the life experience of women from infancy to old age is fundamentally different from that of men (Bernard, 1981). This in conjunction with the literature on differences in consciousness and life experience offers a unique answer to the question, “What about women?” The second question, “Why?” Picking up identifies key lines of variation within this overall focus on gender differences. There are essentially three types of explanation of psychological and relational differences between women and men: biological, cultural or institutional, and largely constructed, social psychological.
  • In this context, this chapter deals with theories of gender inequality in relation to biological explanation, cultural explanation and Marxist interpretation of inequality. In the following chapter, we would like to explain the feminist and postmodernist perspective of gender inequality.



  • Biological explanation of sex differences :
  • The biological perspective says that the sexual division of labor and inequality between the sexes are determined to some extent by some biological or genetically based differences between men and women.
  • Biological explanations have been helpful for stereotypical thinking on gender differences. Freud traced the different personality structures of men and women to their different genitalia and the cognitive and emotional processes that begin when children discover their physical differences.
  • Clearly women are biologically different from men. Although there is disagreement about the exact nature and consequences of this distinction, some sociologists,




  • Anthropologists and psychologists argue that this is sufficient to explain the basic sexual division of labor in all societies. Contributions to the explanation of gender inequality from a biological perspective are given below.
  • Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox – The Human Biographer:
  • Contemporary sociologists Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox (1971) write of “biogrammers” as determining variables in early hominid development that motivated females to bond emotionally with their infants and males to bond pragmatically with other males. does. The Biogrammer is a genetically based program that primes mankind to behave in certain ways. These predispositions are not the same as instincts because they can be greatly modified by culture, but they are fundamental influences on human behavior. Partly they are inherited from the primate ancestors of man, partly they evolved during the existence of man in hunting and gathering bands.


  • Tiger and Fox argue that it is reasonable to assume that, to some extent, he is genetically adapted to
  • Life. Although the biogrammers of men and women are similar in many ways, there are important differences between them. Tiger and Fox argue that males are more aggressive and dominant than females. These characteristics are genetically based; Specifically they result from differences between male and female hormones. These differences are partly due to genetic inheritance from man’s primate ancestors, partly due to genetic adaptation to a hunting way of life.


  • Males do the hunting which is an aggressive activity. They are responsible for the band’s security and for alliances or wars with other bands. Thus, men monopolize positions of power. By comparison, females are programmed by their biogrammers to reproduce and care for children. Tigger and Fox argue that the basic family unit consists of mother and child. In his words, “Nature intended mother and child to be together. It does not matter particularly how this basic unit is supported and protected. This may be in addition to the single male, as that in the case of the nuclear family, or by the impersonal services of a welfare state.
  • George Peter Murdock – Biology and Pragmatism :
  • Murdock (1949) sees biological differences between men and women as the basis for the sexual division of labor in society. However, he does not suggest that men and women are guided by genetically based predispositions or characteristics to adopt their particular roles.

goes. Instead, he merely suggests that biological differences, such as the greater physical strength of men and the fact that women bear children, drive gender.




  • Roles out of sheer practicality. Given the biological differences between men and women, the sexual division of labor is the most efficient way of organizing society. In a cross-cultural survey of 224 societies ranging from hunting and gathering bands to modern nation states, Murdock examines the activities assigned to men and women. He finds tasks such as hunting, lumbering and mining to be predominantly male roles, tasks such as cooking, gathering, carrying water and making and repairing clothes to be predominantly female roles. Women are tied to the home base because of their biological function of childbearing and parenting. Murdock found that the sexual division of labor is present in all societies in his sample and concluded that the advantages inherent in the division of labor by gender probably account for its universality.


  • Talcott Parsons – Biology and the ‘expressive’ woman :
  • Parsons (1959) sees the isolated nuclear family in modern industrial society as specializing in two basic functions: the socialization of youth and the stabilization of adult personalities. For socialization to be effective, a close, warm and supportive group is essential. The family fulfills this need. Within the family, the female is primarily responsible for socializing the young. Parsons turns to biology to explain this fact. He states that the fundamental explanation of the allocation of roles between the biological sexes lies in the fact that the birth and rearing of children establishes a strong presumptive primacy of the mother’s relation to the younger child. Moreover, the absence of the husband and father from the premises of the house for such a long time means that they have to shoulder the primary responsibility of the children. Parsons characterizes the woman’s role in the family as ‘expressive’ meaning that she provides warmth, protection and emotional support. This is essential for effective socialization of youth. They argue that for the family as a social system to operate efficiently, there must be a clear sexual division of labor. In this sense, the supporting and expressive roles complement each other. Like a button and buttonhole, they snap close together to promote family togetherness. Although Parsons goes far beyond biology, this is his starting point. Biological differences between the sexes provide the basis on which the sexual division of labor is based.
  • John Bowlby – The Mother-Child Bond:


  • John Bowlby (1946) has examined the role of women, especially their role as mothers, from a psychological point of view. Like Parsons, he argues that a mother; place in it




  • Home, caring for your children, especially in their early years. Bowlby conducted several studies of juvenile delinquents and found that the youngest experienced psychological distress and separation from their mothers. Many grew up in orphanages and as a result were deprived of maternal love. They appeared unable to give or receive love and were forced to embark on careers of destructive and anti-social relationships. They conclude that it is essential for mental health that ‘the infant and young child should experience a warm, intimate and continuing relationship with their mother’. Bowlby’s arguments imply that there is a psychological need for a close and close mother-child relationship genetically. Thus the role of the mother is strongly associated with the woman.
  • wine.
  • Biological arguments have also been used in writings more sympathetic to feminism. Masters and Johnson’s exploration of the anatomy of female sexuality has given feminist theorists the fundamentals to rethink the whole question of the social patterning of sexuality, and Lyce Rossi (1979; 1983) has focused heavily on the biological foundations of gender-specific behavior. attention from. Rossi linked the different biological functions of males and females to different patterns of hormonally determined development over the life cycle and this, in turn, accounts for sex-specific differences such as sensitivity to light and sound and differences in the left and right brain. . She feels that these differences feed into the different patterns of childhood noted by Carol Gilligan (1982), Janet Lever (1978) and Rafaela Best (1983); for the famous female “math-anxiety”, and also the obvious fact that ermines are more sensitive to caring for infants than males. Rossi’s feminism seeks to compensate for biologically “given” disadvantages, through social education, but as a biosociologist she also argues for a rational acceptance of the implications of biological research.
  • Second. Gender Inequality: Cultural Theory:
  • Cultural interpretations of gender differences often place too much emphasis on the specific tasks of women and the care of infants. This responsibility for motherhood is seen as a major determinant of the wider sexual division of labor that typically ties women to the functions of wife, mother, and domestic worker, to the private sphere of home and family, and thus to events. and differs greatly from men by a lifelong range of experiences. this setting

In this, women develop specific interpretations of achievement, specific interests and values, characteristics but also the skills necessary for openness in relationships. “caring for others”,




  • and special networks of support from other women (mothers, daughters, sisters, co-wives and friends) who live in their different regions. While some institutional theorists of difference accept the sexual division of labor as a social necessity (Berger and Berger, 1983), others recognize that separate areas for women and men lead to gender inequality (Bernard, 1981; Kelly -Godol, 1983) or even be embedded within a wider pattern of victimization (Rudick, 1980).
  • Many sociologists begin with the assumption that human behavior is largely guided and determined by culture, which is the learned prescriptions for behavior shared by members of a society. Thus norms, values and roles are culturally determined and socially transmitted. From this perspective, gender roles are a product of culture rather than biology. Individuals learn their respective male and female roles. The gender division of labor that gender roles are normal, natural, right, and appropriate.
  • Ann Oakley – Cultural Division of Labour:
  • Ann Oakley, a British sociologist and supporter of the women’s liberation movement, came down strongly in favor of culture as a determinant of gender roles. Her position is summarized in the following quote, ‘The division of labor by sex is not only universal, but there is no reason why it should be so. Human cultures are diverse and endlessly changing. They owe their creation to human ingenuity rather than to invincible biological forces. Oakley First takes Murdock to task by arguing that the sexual division of labor is not universal, not that some tasks are always performed by men, others by women. She biases Murdock’s interpretations of her data because she tolls on other cultures through both Western and male eyes.


o Specifically, she claims that the pre-judicial role of women in the context of the Western housewife-mother role. Oakley examines a number of societies in which biology has little or no influence on women’s roles. The Mbuti Pygimes, a hunting and gathering society who live in the Congo rainforest, have no specific rules for the division of labor by sex. Men and women hunt together. There is no special difference in the role of father and mother. Both sexes share the responsibility of caring for the children.

o Among Australian Aborigines in Tasmania, women were responsible for seal hunting, fishing, and catching opossums (free-living mammals). Turning to present-day societies, Oakley notes that women are an important part of many armed forces, notably those of China, Russia, Cuba, and Israel. Thus, it shows that there are no specific female roles and that biological characteristics do not prevent women from having specific jobs. he is regarded as a myth




  • ‘The biological inability of women to do heavy and demanding work’. Oakley also attacks Parsons and Bowlby’s arguments by pointing to the kibbutz to show that systems other than the family and the role of the female mother can effectively socialize the group. Using the example of Alor, an island in Indonesia, Oakley shows how in this and other small-scale horticultural societies, the world
  • Males are not bonded to their offspring, and this has not been shown to have any harmful effects on children. In traditional Aloris society, women were largely responsible for the cultivation and collection of vegetables. This involved him spending a lot of time away from the village.


o Within a fortnight after the birth of their child, women returned to the fields leaving the infant in the care of a sibling, father or grandparents. Turning to Western society, Oakley rejected Bowlby’s claim that an ‘intimate and constant’ relationship between mother and child was essential to the child’s well-being. Shane notes that a large body of research suggests that the employment of another has no detrimental effect on a child’s development. Some studies indicate that children of working mothers are less likely to be delinquent than children of stay-at-home mothers. Oakley is particularly harsh in his attack on Parsons’ view of the family and the role of the ‘expressive’ woman in it. She accuses him of basing his analysis on the beliefs and values of his culture, and especially the myths of male superiority and the sanctity of marriage and family. They argue that the expressive housewife-mother role is not necessary for the functioning of the family unit. It exists only for the convenience of men. They claim that Parsons’ interpretation of gender roles is only a valid myth for ‘domestic subjugation of gender roles’, a valid myth for ‘domestic subjugation of women’. Finally, Oakley concludes that gender roles are culturally, not biologically, determined.


o Bruno Bettelheim is a psychotherapist specializing in child development. His study of group parenting in Ekibutz indicated that close, independent socialization was necessary for effective socialization.

Continuous mother-child relationship is not necessary. The kibbutz children had little mental illness and little evidence of jealousy, rivalry or bullying. The children appeared hardworking and responsible, had no delinquencies and did not equate to a high school ‘dropout’. Compared to Western society, there is stronger pressure to conform to group norms and, as a result, Bettleheim found that children tend to be less individualistic. He argues that they develop a ‘collective’ rather than individual sense of self. By Western standards, the children appear ’emotionally flat, they stay away from any kind of emotion’ and seem unable to establish ‘really’.




  • Deep, intimate and loving relationships’. Betelheim claims that parents raised in the kibbutz ‘expect little intimacy with their children, not hoping or desiring a one-to-one relationship with them. So their relationships with their children tend to be more casual – neither close nor intense.
  • Ernestine Friedel – Male dominance and sexual division of labor :
  • In men and women: an anthropological perspective, Friedl offers an explanation for the sexual division of labor and male dominance. Like Oakley, she favors a cultural explanation taking into account the vast variation in gender roles between societies. For example, she observes that in some societies, activities such as weaving, pottery-making and sewing are considered ‘inherently’ men’s work, in others, women’s. It is significant, however, that societies in which such tasks are defined as male roles generally have higher prestige than societies where they are assigned to women.


o Friedl sees this as a reflection of male dominance which exists to some degree in all societies. She defines male dominance as a situation in which men have highly preferential access, though not always exclusive rights, to the activities that society values most and which are used as a means of control over others. allows. He argues that the degree of male dominance is ‘a consequence of the frequency with which males have more authority to distribute goods outside the home group than do females’. Thus men are domains because they control the exchange of valuable goods beyond the family group. This activity brings prestige and power. The greater their control over the exchange of valuable goods outside the family, the greater their dominance. Friedl tests this hypothesis by examining hunting and gathering bands and small-scale horticultural societies.

o In hunting and gathering bands, men hunt and women gather vegetable produce, nuts and berries. Friedel turns to biological arguments to explain this gendered division of labor. Breeding, breeding and rearing are not adapted to the demands of hunting, while they do not pose a serious inconvenience to gathering. Yet this does not explain why hunting carriers have more prestige than gathering. The explanation lies in the fact that meat is a scarce resource and thus more valuable than vegetable production. The latter is usually readily available, can be easily assembled and is therefore not exchanged. The successful outcome of the hunt cannot be guaranteed. some men return empty handed

  • Ed. In order for the whole band to enjoy a regular protein diet, which means it provides, it is necessary for successful hunters to distribute their kills to other members of the band. Friedel argues that ‘a resource scarcely or irregularly distributed is a source of available power’. Those who distribute such resources gain prestige, those who receive them are indebted and bound. Since hunting is largely a male monopoly, men are plugged into a dominant power structure by exchanging meat.


o Friedl’s ideas are novel and interesting and reveal a fascinating interplay between biology and culture. However she claims that her work shows that male dominance and gender roles are culturally determined. She fails to completely dismiss the biological arguments. The fact that women bear children is an important part of their explanation for the sexual division of labor and, less directly, for the explanation of male dominance. However, his arguments reveal the importance of culture and avoid simplistic claims of the mentioned biological arguments.


o A somewhat different, though equally interesting explanation for the subordinate position of women has been offered by Sherry B. Ortner. She attempts to provide a general explanation for the ‘universal devaluation of women’. Ortner claims that it is not biology that holds women responsible for their position in society but the way each culture defines and values female biology.

o In this way, if this universal evaluation changes, then the basis of female subordination will end. Ortner argues that culture is given more importance than nature in every society.

Culture is the means by which man controls and controls nature. By inventing weapons and hunting techniques man could capture and kill animals. By inventing religion and rituals, humans could invoke supernatural forces to ensure a successful hunt or a bountiful harvest. By the use of culture man does not have to be passively subject to nature, he can control and control it. Thus, man’s thought and technology, which is his culture, holds authority over nature and is therefore seen as superior to nature.


The universal assessment of culture as superior to nature is the root cause of devaluation of women. Women are seen as closer to nature than men and therefore inferior to men. Ortner argues that women are universally defined as closer to nature because their bodies and bodily functions are more related to the ‘natural processes surrounding the reproduction of the species’. These natural processes include menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and lactation, processes for which the female body is ‘naturally equipped’. The social role of women as mothers is also seen as close to nature. They are mainly responsible for the socialization of the youth. Babies and young children are seen as ‘barely human’, a step away from nature because their cultural repertoire is small




  • Compared to adults. The close relationship of women with young children further connects them with nature. Since the role of the mother is linked to the family, the family itself is considered closer in nature than the activities and institutions outside the family. Thus activities such as politics, war, and religion are seen as more distant from nature, superior to household chores, and therefore the province of men. Finally, Ortner argues that the ‘woman’s psyche’, her psychological makeup, is defined as something closer to nature. Because women are concerned with child care and primary socialization, they tend to develop more personal, intimate, and special relationships with others, especially their children.


o By comparison, men engaging in politics, war, and religion have a wider touch of contact and less personal and special relationships. Thus men are seen as being more objective and less emotional. Ortner argues that culture is, in a sense, the encroachment of the natural gifts of existence, through systems of thought and technology. Thus men are seen to be closer to culture than women. Since culture is considered superior to nature, the ‘feminine psyche’ is devalued and once again men come out on top.


o Ortner concludes that in terms of her biology, physiological processes, social roles and psychology, woman ‘appears to be intermediate between culture and nature’. Ortner failed to show conclusively that culture is valued more highly than nature in all societies. Although many societies have rituals that attempt to control nature, it is not clear that nature is necessarily devalued in comparison to culture. In fact it can be argued that the very existence of such rituals points to the superior power of nature. However, Ortner’s argument is missing an important quality. It provides a universal explanation for a universal phenomenon, the second class status of women. If Ortner’s view is correct, then the subjection of women to biology is nothing but the cultural evaluation of their biological makeup. A change in this assessment would remove the basis of female subordination.

  • Third. Gender Inequality and Marxist Interpretation:
  • Marxism presents one of the best known and intellectually most comprehensive theories of social oppression. This theory not only explains oppression but is a more tacit statement of gender-inequality. The foundation of this theory was laid by Marx and Engels. Social class oppression was a major concern of Marx and Engels, but they often turned their attention to gender oppression. His most famous exploration of this issue is presented in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). prominent




  • The arguments of this book are:
  •  Women’s subjugation does not result from their biology, which is probably unchangeable, it is constructed from social systems that have a clear and traceable history, systems that can possibly be changed.


  •  The relational basis for women’s subordination lies in the family, an institution aptly named from the Latin word for servant, as the family existing in complex societies is a system of highly dominant and subordinate roles. The key features of the family in Western societies are that it is centered on a mated pair and their offspring are usually located in the same household; It is patrilineal, with descent and property passed through the male line, patrilineal, with authority invested in the male household head, and not least in enforcement of the rule that the wife should obey her husband.

has sex with. The double standard allows men far more sexual freedom. Within such an institution, especially when, as in a middle-class family, women have no jobs outside the home and no economic independence, women are virtually the property or possessions of their husbands.


  •  Society legitimizes this family system by claiming that such a structure is the basic institution in all societies. This is actually a false claim, as much anthropological and archaeological evidence shows. There was no such family structure for most of human prehistory. Instead people were linked in broad kinship networks—gon, large-scale associations between people sharing blood ties.


  • Also these relationships were traced through the female line because one’s direct relationship to one’s mother could be demonstrated much more easily than one’s relationship to one’s father, in other words the gene was matrilineal. It was also matriarchal, with a significant power resting in the hands of women, who performed an independent and important economic function in those primitive hunting and gathering economies, as gatherers, craftsmen, stores, and distributors of essential materials. Huh. This power was exercised in collective and cooperative communal living arrangements. commodity use, child rearing and decision-making, and through the free and weightless choice of love and sexual partners by both women and men. This type of society, which Marx and Engels elsewhere describe as primitive communism, is associated with the free and empowered social position of women in The Origin.



  •  The factors that destroyed this type of social order, which Engels calls “the”




  • The world historical defeat of the female sex” (Engels and Marx: 1884). There is the replacement of hunting-gathering by economic and especially animal husbandry, horticultural, and agricultural economies. This change is accompanied by the property, thought, and reality of some group members. Claiming essential resources of economic production as their own emerged. It was men who insisted on this clam, as their mobility, power, and monopoly on certain tools gave them economic dominance. With these changes, property owners Men, too, developed enforceable requirements both for an obedient labor force, whether they were slaves, captives, women-wives, or children, and for heirs who served as a means of preserving and transferring property. will work as


  • Thus arose the first family, a master and his slave-servant, wife-servant, child-servant, a unit in which the master fiercely defended his claim of exclusive sexual access to his wives and thereby protected his heirs. Sons would also favor this system of sexual control, as it would rest their property claims.
  •  Since then the exploitation of labor has evolved into increasingly complex structures of dominance, especially class relations; The political system was created to protect all these systems of domination; And the family itself has evolved into an embedded and dependent institution with historical changes of economic and property systems, reflecting the all-pervasive injustices of political economy and consistently enforcing women’s subordination. Only with the destruction of property rights in the coming communist revolution will women gain freedom of social, political, economic and personal action.
  • Genesis has been challenged by anthropologists and archaeologists on questions of evidence by feminists
  • Failing in various ways to understand the full complexity of the oppression of women. But in claiming that women are oppressed, in analyzing how this oppression is perpetuated by the family, institutions held almost sacred by powerful sections of society, and in the study of women’s economic and sexual status. In ascertaining the effect of this subordination. The Origin offers a powerful sociological theory of gender inequality, which contrasts dramatically with the mainstream sociological theory of Parsons.


  • Contemporary Marxist Feminism:
  • Embeds contemporary Marxist feminists within the structure of the class system, and specifically the contemporary capitalist class system. From this theoretical vantage point,




  • The quality of each person’s life experiences is a reflection of their class status first and their gender only second. Clearly women from class backgrounds have less life experiences with men of their class than women of a particular class. For example, in both their class-determined experiences and interests, upper-class, wealthy women are the antithesis of blue-collar or poor, welfare women, but share many experiences and interests with upper-class, wealthy-men. Given this starting point, Marxist feminists acknowledge that within any given class, women are less privileged than men in their access to material goods, powers, status and possibilities or self-actualization. The reason for this inequality lies in the organization of capitalism itself.
  • the inherent nature of gender inequality within the class system of contemporary capitalism,

The most simply and clearly visible is within the dominant class of the bourgeoisie. Bourgeois men own the productive and organizational resources of industrial production, commercial agriculture, and national and international trade. Bourgeois women are not property, but they are property themselves, the wives and possessions of bourgeois women being attractive and conspicuous objects in an ongoing process of exchange between men (Rubin: 1975) and often used to seal property alliances between men. There are means of


  • Bourgeois women produce and train sons who will inherit the socio-economic resources of their fathers. Bourgeois women also provide emotional, social, and sexual services to the men of their class. For all this they are rewarded with an appropriately luxurious lifestyle. Gender inequality in the wage-earning classes is also functional to capitalism, and therefore perpetuated by the capitalist. As wage-labour women, because of their lower social status, are more poorly paid and find it difficult to form unions because of their sense of wage-sector marginality. Thus they serve as an irresistible source of profit for the ruling classes.


  • In addition, women’s marginalization in the wage sector makes them a significant part of the reserve labor force, which, as a pool of alternative workers, acts as a threat and brake to unionized male wage demands. as housewives, as consumers of goods and services for the home and as unpaid caregivers to make a profit that subsidizes and hides the real costs of reproducing and maintaining the workforce (Gardiner: 1975) . Finally, but not least for Marxists, the wage-earner’s wife provides her husband with a small sense of personal power, a compensation for his actual powerlessness in society. In other words, she is the “slave’s handmaid” (McKimmon: 1982).





between men and women;

  • that many women still take on the role of informal caregiver and in fact • derive satisfaction from doing so;
  • That the reason for this situation. are closely associated with the construction of male and female identities, and possibly also with culturally defined rules about ‘sexually appropriate behaviours’,

When women (or men) are responsible for performing domestic labor or providing care on an unpaid (and often unrecognized) basis, this has serious consequences for their role in the labor market. What is at stake is not only the loss of potential earnings or social status, or even the amount of labor required (although the hours and commitment involved in some caring roles are significantly greater than in a full-time job), but the fact that is that many women are ‘stuck’ in the domestic sphere. Janet Finch and Dulcy Groves (1980) have argued that domesticity ideologies and community policies are incompatible with equal opportunities for caring women because the domestic and caring roles are full-time commitments in themselves, a process of labor market segmentation. Means that many women cannot earn as much as their husbands, making it economically impractical for men to leave work, or for many women to earn enough for child care, and domestic or respite care: Feminists have then emphasized that women’s role in the domestic sphere has serious consequences for gender relations in the labor market.

Feminists have also drawn attention to another aspect of domestic labour; One that is regarded as work and is remunerated, though often at a relatively low rate, and that includes middle-class men and women who do other (usually) domestic work. Research suggests that cleaning and other household chores in private homes are often performed by working-class women, by older women, or by Black or Asian-born women.


Bridget Anderson (2000) in her study of migrant domestic workers in five European cities found that such work not only results in low pay and long hours, but can also amount to ‘slavery’. Women in poor countries ‘are often asked to complete an impossible list of tasks; They were expected to care for children and families where they worked, spent little time away from home, and were treated in a variety of subservient ways. often; He found it difficult to break away from the middle-class family that ‘bought’ him and enter the mainstream labor market.




  propensity of women to work

While most feminists argue that the major factors explaining women’s position in the labor market and gendered patterns of work are structurally determined, Katherine Hakim (1995, 1996) has argued that paid employment and their access to work Inadequate attention has been paid to the orientation of women. commitment. In exploring gender patterns of labor market participation, she argues that there are three groups of women:

  1. Home-centred women (between 15 and 30 percent of women) who prefer not to work and whose main priority is children and family.
  2. Adaptive women (between 40 and 80 percent) who are a diverse group –

Including women who want to combine work and family, and those who want paid employment but are not committed to a career.

  1. Work-oriented women (between 10 and 30 percent of women) who are predominantly childless, and whose main priority is their career.

She develops what she calls ‘preference theory’, arguing that women can now choose whether or not to pursue a career. She argues that most women who combine domesticity with employment (‘uncommitted’) seek part-time work despite the knowledge that it is concentrated in lower grades and less remunerated than other work. In contrast to feminist sociologists who have argued that women’s employment patterns are the result of structural factors that limit women’s choices, exclusionary strategies used by men, organized ideologies, Hakim argues that women can positively choose low-wage, low-status part-time work that fits in with their household and family roles, which they themselves see as a priority.

However, Crompton and Le Fevre (1996) argue that there is little empirical evidence to support the view that there are clear categories of women as far as work commitment is concerned.


They draw this conclusion from their study of women in banking and pharmacy employment in Britain and France and suggest that there is no evidence, even if these professional women work part-time, to suggest that they are able to maintain their paid employment. Not committed to. Martin and Roberts (1984) reported in an earlier study that although many women found it difficult to cope with the often conflicting demands of work and home, this did not mean that they were less committed to either. Was More central, in their study, was the relationship between type of work, employment status, and orientation toward work. beyond




NT is provided by Walsh (1999) in a study of part-time female workers in Australia. Walsh argues that women who work part-time are not homogenous in terms of their characteristics or orientation to work, and that there are many reasons why women work part-time. While the majority of women in their sample were satisfied with their working conditions, a significant number wanted to return to full-time work as soon as was practical. She questions Hakim’s view that most female workers are not committed to careers and suggests that commitment to the labor market varies across groups and over the course of life. Rosemary Crompton (1986) emphasized this latter point in her earlier discussion of service work, highlighting the role of life course in shaping women’s orientation to work.

Finally, it is important to remember that when women ‘choose’ to combine their commitments to non-remunerated work with paid employment, the choices they make and their orientation to both depend on a relatively wide range of choices. The narrow range and socially constructed expectations of women’s roles and responsibilities result.


  They are also shaped by material factors such as inequalities of social class, and racial and ethnic power relations, as well as issues such as disability. For example, highly qualified women in managerial and professional occupations can often earn enough to afford high-quality child care and domestic help, and often escape criticism directed at working wives and mothers, while other women cannot. ; Their orientation to work is only part of the explanation why this latter group of women may work part-time or not at all. More sociological explanations for women’s working patterns and orientation to work have emphasized the importance of exploring the ways in which ‘structure and agency are interrelated’ in order to understand the social constructions (and restrictions) of ‘choice’ .



gender and unemployment


According to the Labor Force Survey (cited in EOC 2004), 4 per cent of economically active females (women aged 16 and over and available for work), and 6 per cent of economically active males in the UK, traditionally In sociology, unemployment is not thought to be a problem for women, or at least for most married women. This is because it is argued that women’s wages are not essential to the family, that women’s core identity and status is derived from their role as wives and mothers, and that women in their primary domestic role Can ‘return’. , Women’s unemployment is also ‘hidden’




A high proportion of job-seeking women are not registered as unemployed.

However, feminist research has challenged this view, arguing that work and work identity are central to many women’s lives and that it is essential for women to earn money. Angela Coyle (1984), in a study of 76 women who had been made redundant, found that only three (of whom two were pregnant and one was nearing retirement age), took the opportunity to stop working.



All others demanded alternate employment

of – and found work that was less skilled, had worse working conditions and paid less than their previous positions. Women said they worked because a male wage was insufficient for their household’s needs, and because they valued the independence they gained from paid employment and having their own income. She concludes that paid work was seen as central to these women’s lives, and redundancy was seen as an unwanted interruption to their working lives.

The reasons for non-employment vary greatly by gender. In the UK, the main reason women were not economically active in the 2001 census was that they were engaged in non-remunerated work (caring for the family or household). The main reasons given by men were that they had been made redundant, were in full-time education or training, or that a temporary job had ended. Only 4 percent of men were taking care of the family or home. Of course, non-employment is also linked to other factors such as qualification level, disability and ethnicity.

At the same time as women’s participation rates are increasing in many societies, it is declining as men’s. This is partly a result of high male unemployment rates, particularly in Europe, and also due to an increase in the number of men, especially those in their fifties and sixties, on long periods of sick leave, being unnecessary. Reasons for taking early retirement. It is projected that the gender gap in employment activity (with women creating more jobs than men) will continue to widen.



There are also gender differences in the activities men and women do while unemployed, as well as the ways in which they look for new jobs. For example, surveys from several European countries indicate that women find it more difficult than finding a new job once they are employed, and that they are more likely to rely on government services while men prefer personal contacts and Use more efficient methods such as networks. Women are disadvantaged by the informal aspects of work, both when they are employed and when they are unemployed

Lloyd, as many feminist studies of the workplace have shown.




  Feminist Studies of the Workplace

Many of the ‘classic’ feminist studies of work focused on factory workers (attempting to redress the marginalization of women in the male sphere of work), but later there was a tendency to focus more on those areas of the labor market in which women had the greatest advantage. Representation is high, mainly in ‘care work’ and service sector work. These studies have highlighted the many ways in which gender shapes men’s and women’s experiences of paid work.


  Feminist Studies of Factory Work

Studies by Anna Pollert (1981) and Sally Westwood (1984) show that women and men are working in different occupations, with men employed in classified jobs and women classified semi- or unskilled. working, and earning significantly less than men. They all agree that ‘skill’ is socially constructed in such a way that it is seen as an attribute of men’s work and not women’s work. Ruth Cavendish (1982), describing a London factory, wrote that the complex skills expected of women on the assembly line actually took longer to acquire than skilled male workers.


She provides a graphic account of what it is like to do unskilled factory work. The factory where she worked employed approximately 1,800 people, of whom 800 worked on the factory floor. Virtually all women were migrant workers—70 percent Irish, 20 percent Afro-Caribbean and 10 percent Asian (mostly Gujaratis from India). She notes that men enjoyed better working conditions than women—their jobs enabled them to occasionally stop for a cigarette, turn around, and slow down without financial penalty, while women waited in line. Was tied Male-dominated trade unions and management worked together to protect the interests of male workers. Men and men’s interests effectively controlled women, who were often supervised by men.

With very few exceptions, all the women were semi-skilled assemblers. Men, on the other hand, were spread throughout the grades and divided from one another by differences in skill and pay. Even in machine shops where men and women worked together on the same job, men were paid at higher rates than women because they could lift heavy coils of metal that women could not. While young men were trained as hands in charge, young women were not; The latter lacked the promotion prospects that were open



Women were controlled by the assembly line and the bonus system did not solicit the views of women workers when new designs and new machinery were introduced. Women had no chance to move or think while they were working and no time for a quick break, and if they couldn’t keep up with the line they were dismissed. at work ladies

Women were controlled and protected by men, but other women were generally helpful and friendly. The most important things in women’s lives appear to be their family and home: single women look forward to marriage and domesticity. All the women shared a common interest in the ‘cult of domesticity’.

Anna Pollert (1981) in her study of a tobacco factory in Bristol similarly found that ‘women’s work in the factory’ was routine, repetitive, low-grade work that would not be performed by men. Women thought they should be paid less than men because they were committed to marriage and having children, while men had the family to support. Women also thought that their work was less efficient than that of men and less important to the production process.


Therefore, women accepted their relatively low pay, partly because they compared it with pay for other female jobs. While she rejected the idea that her place was in the home, she considered herself dependent on men and regarded her salary as secondary to a man’s, even though two-thirds of the workforce were young, single women. They saw marriage and family as their ‘careers’ and found themselves at the bottom of the labor market both in terms of class and gender.

9.8.6 Feminist Studies of Care Work

Personal care work, such as that of care aides and ‘domestic help’, is mainly done by women; In fact, these jobs have generally been created as women’s jobs and fields requiring women’s ‘natural’ abilities. Women working as domestic helps, nursing assistants, care aides and soon women employed in the ‘peripheral’ labor market – low-level jobs with poor and insecure conditions of employment. They are often supervised and controlled by other women workers who have more secure employment in the ‘core’ labor market.

Their customer group is mainly elderly people (whose numbers are increasing in most Western societies). Care workers often work across intimate physical boundaries, and their




The work can be repetitive and emotionally exhausting, as well as physically demanding. while


While many of the women who do this type of work are positive about it, feminists have shown a tendency to view it as exploitative and therefore the women who do it are seen as exploited victims of capitalistic, patriarchal social structures. Nevertheless, Hillary Graham (1991) has pointed out that feminists have, unwittingly, taken policy-makers’ definitions of caregiving and equated it with the work done in the domestic home, the love and kinship for kin and family. responsibilities have been included.


As she explains, this means that they have ignored the class and racial factors that influence care and care work and the way in which domestic labor is paid in private homes, resulting in domestic and public The boundaries between regions become blurred. Feminists have also tended to ignore paid care work in residential settings, and the structure of work and its assigned meanings in these settings also blur the public/private distinction that exists regarding women’s caring roles in the home. transfer the concepts to their employment. public area.

Care work primarily belongs to women, both in the private and public sectors. Not that it is primarily done by women, but that it is seen as inherently women’s work (the skills involved are those that are culturally associated with women and therefore are often not recognised). Drawing from Bourdieu’s idea that some professions require some form of ‘cultural capital’, Beverly Skaggs (1997) has argued that for women who wish to work in caring professions, femininity Can be an asset in the labor market. However, this means that care work is often not as well remunerated as skilled work. It is also seen as work that is ‘suitable’ only for women, mainly because it involves both physical and emotional labour, as well as concern for hygiene and health; In other words, it often involves intimate contact with other people’s bodies. The definition of caring work as ‘women’s work’ applies to most of the work that women do both in the home and in the labor market and, feminists have argued, to the work done by women in both spheres. central to understanding the relationship between


This especially applies to women’s work in the service sector and clerical work.

In clerical work, women are often found in relatively low paying jobs with little career prospects and benefits. Women are often recruited on the basis that they will not be promoted, while men are recruited on the assumption that they will. Once in employment, women are less likely to be provided with structured work experience and study opportunities that

Enables them to seek promotion and be seen as promoted.




Kate Boyer (2004) has found for example that the financial services sector serves to create what she describes as ‘a system in which men flow and women act at fixed points’. As the status of clerical work declined and the tasks involved became standardised, fragmented and rationalised, more and more women were recruited into office work. The desking of office work for men is mediated by the prospect of promotion. While women are recruited into the lowest grades, paid at low rates and replaced by other young women when they leave to have children, men, it is assumed, will be forced out of clerical work. .

One of the major debates on social class in male stream sociology since World War II has been whether or not clerical workers are proletarianized—that is, whether the pay, employment conditions, and nature of clerical work are comparable to manual workers. has occurred. British sociologists, following a Weberian analysis of class, have looked at the market conditions, working conditions, and status of male clerical workers, and argued that they are middle class because they enjoy better working conditions, they are considered socially inferior. formally accepted as middle class and do not identify themselves as working class. Braverman (1974), however, argued that clerical workers have been proletarianized and that the feminization of clerical work is part of this process.


  Reviving the debate, Crompton and Jones (1984) argued that while female clerical work was not the work of proletariat men—primarily, they suggest, because male clerical workers had the potential for upward mobility outside of clerical work. There is a possibility. She suggests that this situation may be changing as more women are wanted and seen as potential candidates for promotion. However, the idea that female clerical workers are proletarians only holds when they are compared to male manual workers. Martin and Roberts (1984) and Heather Britton (1984) argued that women clerical workers enjoy pay and working conditions more than women employed in manual work, in professional and managerial work, where the work is defined as efficient.

One of the most important sociological studies of clerical work is Rosemary Pringle’s (1989) Secretaries Talk, based on interviews with nearly five hundred office workers from various workplaces in Australia. Heranalysis focused on Boss-Sekar

The individual relationship, and the ways in which this relationship is shaped by gendered power relations, are highlighted. Largely adopting a Foucauldian perspective, Pringle examines the ways in which secretaries negotiate these power structures shaped by gender and class, underscoring the changing roles and identities available to secretaries – the ‘office wife’ ‘ to ‘sexy secretary’ and ‘career woman’, and the way these roles reflect technological change. She concludes that although there are different types of strategies




Power and resistance are open to them, ‘gender’ and sexuality remain extremely important in the creation of secrets.

9.8.7 Feminist Study of Service Work

Gendered patterns of occupational division, at least in Western societies, mean that by far the majority of women engaged in paid work are employed in the service sector, largely regular, non-manual interactive service worker ‘women’s work’. Feminist studies of service work have identified occupations in which the skills, characteristics and aesthetics associated with women are modified – for example nursing, waitressing and bar work in the airline industry. Elaine Hall ((993) study of waitressing, for example, highlights the performance of gendered service styles and that ‘waiting tables’ has been defined as uniquely “women’s work” because women do it and Because work activities are perceived as feminine. Her study found that men are expected to adopt a ‘formal’ style when waiting tables, while women are expected to be more ‘familial’. is expected, and that these differences in expectations can be attributed to the gendered construction of the jobs themselves.


  What she describes as gender stratification located within the profession was largely shaped by three factors: the gendered connotations of waiting, the gendered determination of job titles, and the gendered determination of uniforms. Combined, these factors meant that being female was equated with ‘giving good service’.

Mike Philby’s (1992) ethnographic study of three betting shops also highlighted the relationship between gender and sexuality in shaping the work experiences of women in service professions, and particularly the ways in which this relationship is shaped by the relationship between employer and customer. Shaped by expectations.


Philby argues that the notion of good service is largely shaped by how

Whether the clients were satisfied with the data, personality and temperament of the female workers. She also highlighted that both management and customers expect female employees to engage in sexual banter with customers as part of their job role so that ‘the line between selling a service and selling sexuality in such activity is very thin’. Ho’. In this regard, they conclude that: ‘This study … indicates how much the operation of workplaces and the production of goods and services depend on the tacit skills and perceived abilities of sexualised, gendered individuals’.

A more explicit focus on the relationship between masculinity and femininity led to Gareth Morgan and David Knights’ (1991) study of ‘gender selling’ in a medium-sized insurance company. Her research highlighted that women were largely excluded.




From the field sales rep job partly because of ‘protective paternalism’ (the sales rep himself has to travel around, and meet with potential customers), partly because women are not adapted to the ‘solitude of sales’ and partly because they were thought to be less resilient than men: ‘too empathetic’ and ‘not hungry enough’ as some in their research put it. In addition, managers were mindful of a ‘sense decorum’ among the sales force based on a shared gender identity and thought women could disrupt this. The role of sales representative, they found, was largely constructed according to a particular vocabulary associated with masculine characteristics; A masculine discourse that emphasizes aggressiveness and high performance as the defining characteristics of the job, qualities that (male) managers and (male) sales representatives and (they believe) potential customers, would not associate with women. Hence, for all these reasons, the act of selling oneself became tied to the masculinity of the sellers. This meant that internal sales (in banks and building societies) became feminised, while the external sales force was largely male dominated.


A similar finding emerged from research by Kate Boyer (2004) on the financial services industry in Canada.

These gender differences in the nature of service work, and the ways in which particular roles are constructed according to gender ideologies, have also been studied in police work Susan Martin: (1999), her study of police officers in the United States found that police work involves a high degree of emotional interaction, and that officers must control their own emotional displays and also the emotions of ‘members of the public’ with whom they come into contact who may be hurt, distressed, Can be angry or subject to suspicion. They argue that public work is often seen as manly work fighting crime, but it also involves a more caring aspect, which officially

People often look down on the ‘feminine side of the job’. Heranalysis emphasizes the ways in which gender is constructed through work and through the cultures of particular occupations and work organizations.

Robin Leidner (1993) reached a similar conclusion in his Neo-Weberian study of joint insurance and regularization of service work at McDonald’s, Fast Food, Fast Talk. She argues that in relation to gender and interactive service work, one of the most striking aspects of gender construction is that its achievement creates the impression that gender differences in ‘personality, interests, character, appearance, mannerisms and abilities’ Kind of natural. Hence, ‘gender segregation of work reinforces the appearance of naturalness’. Instead, she maintains, gender is partially constructed through sex, yet again.




For the public as well as workers, gender segregation in service jobs contributes to the ‘general belief’ that differences in the social statuses of men and women are a direct reflection of differences in their nature and abilities.

Many women’s jobs are considered explicitly in the service sector, as women are thought to use abilities to be deployed in the private sector: caring, preparing and serving food, nursing, attending to the needs of others. guessing and reacting, and so on. In short, this work is thought to involve what the American sociologist Early Russell Hochschild (1983) described in his book The Managed Hearts as ’emotional labour’ – work that involves the trading of emotions, and the service and is largely linked to women’s ability to provide care.





In other words, they confirm that it is possible to change the situation. These theorists contrast with gender difference theorists who present a picture of social life in which gender differences, whatever their causes, are enduring, deeply penetrating the personality, and only partially reversible. Interpretations of gender inequality vary around this general gist of interpretations. The two major versions of contemporary feminist theory that focus on and try to explain gender inequality, a Marxist theory, and a feminist theory in another are reviewed in this chapter.







This course is very important for Basics GS for IAS /PCS and competitive exams




*Group c*

*Forest guard*






*Complete General Studies Practice in Two weeks*




**General science* *and* *Computer*


*Must enrol in this free* *online course* xxx76D77B987A




**English Beginners* *Course for 10 days*







समाजशास्त्र का परिचय











Beginners Urdu Learning Course in 2Weeks



Hindi Beginners Learning in One week



Free Sanskrit Language Tutorial



Follow this link to join my WhatsApp group:


Join Teligram group


Join What app group for IAS PCS


Join Facebook


Instagram link

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.