How do you create a sense of gender identity through your employment or job? How does your job

create a sense of gender
identity for you?
In what ways does the construction of masculinity
differ from the construction of femininity in regards to paid work? What
about unpaid work?
What happens to gender expectations and relationships
when people must survive on a poverty budget?
How do U.S. ideology and cultural values about
independence affect employment and work?

Work has been central to definitions
of masculinity. Men’s identities have been tied to work and employment, and a
man’s perceived worth is often directly linked to his job and employment.
Although physical strength used to be related to work, few men now have
physically-demanding jobs. As technological and organizational changes occur, a
cultural shift has impacted the definition of masculinity. Males and females
have come to share similar labor force participation, and the gendering of work
has affected the definitions of femininity and masculinity.
The probabilities or odds of
economic achievement are affected by gender. As an economy changes, the odds
change and also impact gender norms and expectations. With cultural values that
emphasize independence, the U.S. places expectations for economic success on
individuals. If a person is not fully employed, the individual will be held
accountable for unemployment. Economic shifts and gendered discrimination are
rarely considered significant factors in employment and work. However, economic
position is much more complex than individual responsibility. This chapter
highlights factors that impact work.

Resources, and Assignments

Required Reading

Chapters 10 and 11

Required Assignments

Short Answer>Sociology Subject Guide: A one-stop shop for all of your sociology related
research needs.

Check Prior Knowledge

Check your prior knowledge of
concepts and key terms by playing one of”>Lesson 8 games.




Second Shift

The unpaid work in the home,
usually done by women who are employed full-time for pay

Although dual-earning couples may
both contribute to the economics of the household, gendered attitudes about
housework, childcare, and chores remain a cultural norm.

Pink-Collar Job

Work that is done in exchange for
low wages; primarily performed by women

Examples of pink-collar jobs
include clerical, secretarial, retail, and homecare.


A profession or occupation that is
chosen as one’s life’s work

A career is typically valued by
both the individual and society.

Hidden Curriculum

Unintended outcomes or byproducts
of education or schooling-related activities

Recreational and social activities
teach lessons of inequality, which normalize inequality and reinforce
cultural beliefs and norms.


Work or responsibility that is
completed during employment

Although a job may be done for money,
work is considered transient, temporary, and expendable.

Comparable Worth

The belief that employers should
set wages to reflect the worth of jobs, as determined by job
evaluation studies, not by market demand (supply and demand)

Advocates of comparable worth
highlight that jobs necessary for a functional society are often paid less,
usually because women have dominated a profession (e.g., fire and police
dispatchers) and believe that pay should be dependent upon job worth.

Gender Typing

When the majority of an occupation
is dominated by a gender, the expectation for the job becomes based on
gendered expectations

Gender-typing affects the way that
a job is perceived, such as the nursing profession. Nurses are expected to be
caring and nurturing because women, who have typically dominated the
profession, are considered caring and nurturing.

Glass Ceiling

A barrier to career advancement in
which restrictions or discrimination are unacknowledged

In many professions, a woman
cannot break through the glass ceiling because of gendered expectations and
the time commitments of motherhood.

Focusing Your Learning
By the end of this lesson, you
should be able to:

Describe ideology and the economy.
Describe historical gender expectations of the
Compare/contrast social stratification in employment

Describe Ideology and the Economy
Political leaders and other sources
of information often espouse ideology that gives more credence to cultural beliefs
than research actually supports. Popular U.S. beliefs about work affect
interpretations of employment and unemployment. Four popular beliefs that
influence perceptions of work include:

People control their own destinies.
People should have different rewards if they made
different efforts.
The more formal education one has, the better off he or
she will be economically.
The more work experience one has, the better off he or
she will be economically.