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Work, Employment, and the Economics of Gender

WS 222 Lecture 4 Chapter 14. Work, Employment, and the Economics of Gender. Plan for Today. Questions about last time? Questions about book assignments? Questions about Reading? Book Presentation on Nickled & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (Brian) Lecture on Sapiro Chapter 14

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Work, Employment, and the Economics of Gender

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  1. WS 222 Lecture 4 Chapter 14 Work, Employment, and the Economics of Gender

  2. Plan for Today • Questions about last time? • Questions about book assignments? • Questions about Reading? • Book Presentation on Nickled & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (Brian) • Lecture on Sapiro Chapter 14 • Debate on Taking Sides Issue 6 • Reading Assignment • Writing Assignment

  3. Brian Nickled & Dimed

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM4JjuQeqDA&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfwCmvJ4GaY&feature=related Ain’t I a Woman?

  5. Women have ALWAYS worked! • Social reproduction— ”the array of activities and relationships involved in maintaining people both on a daily basis and intergenerationally” (Glenn 1992, 1) • Why has women’s work conventionally been so unlikely to be compensated financially and is paid so much less than men’s when it is paid at all?

  6. Job Model VERSUS Family Model • Job Model • Men’s social relations and identities are determined by their jobs, central interests and motivations in life are employment and earnings. • Men’s primary connection with their families is in their role as economic providers • The most important thing to know about a man is his occupation • Family Model • Women’s basic social relationships are determined by their relationship to the family. • Women’s central interests and motivations revolve around the family • Women have only tentative and marginal relationships with the outside occupational world • The most important things to know about a women are whether she is married and if she has children

  7. In the work world, people are (supposed to be) ambitious, competitive, and aggressive and are valued in the currency of money • In the family world, people are (supposed to be) nurturing and relatively peaceful and are valued in the currency of love and loyalty • Historically men were assigned to one and women to the other. As they merged, roles became conflicted

  8. What About Race and Ethnicity? • We have a “tendency to understand white women through a primarily gender-based model, as though race and gender to not interact in creating their experience, and to understand women of other races through a primarily race based and secondarily gender-based model.

  9. Did Your mother work?

  10. Just a Housewife. . . • Before the 20th century, relatively few women worked outside the home---but relatively few men worked outside the home then, either • How and when did the distinct role of homemaker arise? • Industrial capitalism—provided opportunities for men to obtain wage labor. Why men? • Women already were governed by laws denying married women to own property and make contracts. The jobs were regarded as masculine

  11. Rise of Capitalism • The rise of capitalism elaborated on gender divisions of labor assessed in money • Because women’s domestic labor did not involve payment, it was not seen as work • Key point is not just that men and women did different work, but that their work is valued differently • Roles overlapped when needed—harvest time, sailors, etc.

  12. As development of industry developed, men’s lives became fragmented into specific segements. Work literally distanced men from their families • “Self-made man”, wealth as a measure of success and masculinity. A wife’s need to seek employment represents husband’s failure as a man. Does this still happen? • Running the home belonged to the woman

  13. Being a homemaker took on new meaning—”cult of domesticity” • Homemakers were seen to hold together the very fabric of society • Women’s success at home became the measure of their femininity • “whereas a man’s self-seeking meant striving to subordinate others, a woman’s self-seeking meant striving to subordinate herself to the self-advancement of her husband and children.” Is this still true?

  14. Women working outside the home were not considered fully feminine • By the late 19th century, people began to conceive of homemaking not just as what women did but as a vocation that could and should be professionalized. Began to study at school, etc. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkuAI1A6F4k

  15. Ladies Home Journal, 1912 • I know that any woman who has once felt the comfort, satisfaction, and pride tht come from the use of a systematic filing method will never return to the slipshod ways of the past. She will feel that it is just as commendable to have her home run in such a manner that a stranger can run it in the same grooves as herself as it is desirable to have the cogs in the wheels of a great railway system go right on moving, even though the fingers of the president of the road cease to write his dictates.

  16. But. . . • If homemaking could be done so scientifically and with such a set routine that a homemaker became a replaceable part, what did the homemaker gain from her task? If homemaking really did use the same principles as business and industry, why couldn’t women go into business and industry? • Rise of social homemaking • Their feminine morality—a concern that the needs of particular individuals be filled—was a perfect complement to capitalism’s masculinity. Capitalism gave all men a chance to compete; the existence of low-wage and unemployed workers was simply a part of the game. Social homemakers, progressives, and eventually the welfare state charitably “mothered” the losers; they did not try to change the game.

  17. What do you do all day? • Many full-time homemakers now view themselves as “just housewives” devaluing the role that society regards as especially theirs. Homemaking is, in many respects, invisible. Those who do not do it have no idea what women do with their days.

  18. Problems of Definition: Housework as Work • Remuneration • Should homemakers be paid? • Marriage as legalized prostitution? • Location • Work and personal relationships are inseparable • Not “just a job” • Work versus Leisure • Home as “haven in a heartless world” • Home is a site for leisure, not labor • Based on men’s experience and renders women’s work invisible

  19. Economic Functions of Homemaking • The wealthier a family, the more a homemaker can replace some of her labor by paying someone else to do it. . .but not necessarily a proportionate decrease in work • What about paying someone to clean your house?

  20. Homemaker’s Economic Roles • 1) Manage household resources • Respond to AND CREATE wealth and standard of living • Their skills determine allocation of family’s resources • Determines the real value of her husband’s income • 2) Serve as primary consumers • Women link their family to the economy • Women face discriminatory pricing • Buying a car

  21. 3) Create and maintain the labor force • Women have the primary responsibility for raising children (sound familiar?) • Help husband (and children) return to work each day • Deb • 4) Serve as an auxiliary unpaid labor force • Helper to her husband • I wish I had a wife • Volunteer labor • 5) Serve as an auxiliary paid labor force • Flex workers • Paid work at home—preserve man’s ego

  22. The Mommy Wars

  23. Melissa Jones, PhD Lisa Leavitt, PhD Brigham Young University Counseling and Career Center Career Counseling for LDS Women

  24. Early 1900s Nationally • Social norms suggested that women didn’t “work” since their “place” was in the home • A woman’s work cycle ended once the family life began (Perun & Bielby, 1981) • Freud-different tasks of identity development • Theodore Roosevelt in 1905-educating women is race suicide • Medical model-Uterine atrophy from working?

  25. Early 1900s in the Church • “Housekeeping—a noble profession” & “How to support yourself through college” (YW Journal, 1925) • “Multiply and replenish the earth” & “participate in formal education, engage in wage labor, and participate in politics” (Vance, 2002) • “It would be impossible to find on the earth a community where women as a class are more independent in thought, word and action than in Utah” (Gates, 1907 in Improvement Era) • “Mormonism has liberated women from the restrictions imposed by social mores” (Improvement Era, 1905)

  26. 1940s-1950s Nationally • Traditional family model with working father and stay-at-home mother • “The family functioning is optimized when the husband specializes in market work and the wife in domestic work” (T. Parsons, 1949) • A successful marriage and family lifestyle are the result of a functional asymmetry in marriage, where the husband worked outside of the home, and the wife focused on homemaking and childrearing responsibilities (Parson and Bales, 1955)

  27. 1940s-50s in the Church • Women told to restrict activities to homemaking which are the most natural and satisfying (Widstoe, 1940) • “Natural differences” between men and women lend women to work most effectively in the home • If women fail to achieve success in their domestic responsibilities a variety of social ills will result

  28. 1970s-90s Nationally • Profound social transformation of gender ideals and sexual norms • National Organization of Women • Equal Rights Ammendment

  29. Rally Song of Future Mormon Mothers When I grow up I want to be a mother and have a family, One little, two little, three little babies of my own. Of all the jobs for me I’ll choose no other, I’ll have a family, Four little, five little, six little babies of my own. ---Janell Brady

  30. 1970s-90s in the Church • 1970s: Preparation but not participation • “I hope that our young sisters will not only acquire the vital skills of homemaking, but that they will not neglect their natural talents in literature or language and in science. Remember, we take our knowledge, skills, and attributes with us not only into marriage—but also into eternity.” Maxwell, 1976.) • 1980s: Ensign authors acknowledge reality, Church provides no “pat answers” regarding whether women should work. . .women can “guard the home” in the classroom, courtroom, medicine (Winder 1986) • 1987-General Conference encourages women to return to the home—”Wife and Mother: A Valid Career Option for the College-Educated Woman” By Sydney Smith Reynolds • 1990s-Church leaders reiterate women’s “primary responsibilities” to their husbands and families while grudgingly acknowledging that in rare cases a few women may work outside the home. Wage work should not be a woman’s first choice.

  31. Pattern

  32. Currently Nationally • 59% of females 16 and older participated in the labor force, representing about 70.2 million women. More than 2/3 work full-time • 75% of mothers with school-age children are in the workforce • Most young women expect to be active participants in the work force and engage in both work and family responsibilities (McCracken & Weitzman, 1997)

  33. Currently In the Church • Julie Beck (October Conference 2007): • Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence. Therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.“ • These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most."

  34. The Mommy Wars? • Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women." • "The Feminine Mistake," • The Opt-Out Revolution" • How Serfdom Saved the Women's Movement“ • "To Hell with All That“ • Dr. Phil Mommy war • Oprah My Baby or My Job: Why Elizabeth Vargas Stepped Down.

  35. Oprah Dr. Phil

  36. And do women even want to? And who has a choice? Is it possible for a woman to have it all?

  37. How Does This Affect LDS Women? • In a study done with traditional college aged women and careers, several themes emerged as being the most salient (Leavitt, 2005) • Balancing career and family is not discussed enough • Mother is seen as the main influence • Education & career were seen as separate entities • Guilt and ambivalence no matter what the choice • Career & motherhood are seen as mutually exclusive

  38. How Does This Impact LDS Women Cont’d? • While LDS women were included in the 2005 study, in order to understand more fully how this affects LDS women in particular in various life stages, we chose to present case studies of LDS women. • There are two case studies for each stage, college, mid-life and later-life. • All 6 case studies were taken from women who sought counseling in either a college Counseling Center setting, or in private practice. • All the women originally came to counseling for concerns other than career choice, but career issues became a major part of the counseling process for each of the women.

  39. Case Study #1 – Jane, College Age • 20-year-old. • Single, but engaged to be married in two months . • From a prominent LDS family in her home town. • Youngest of six siblings, the only girl. • Mother is a stay-at –home Mom. • Father is in the medical field, is well known in that community and has done very well financially. • Jane was an Honors student in High School. • Jane took college credit classes in high school and had 30 college credits going in to college. • Jane is in her fourth semester, but is a junior in terms of credit hours. • Jane does not work while in school and has in fact never had a job. • Jane has a 3.98 GPA. • Jane attends an LDS college and has a full ride scholarship

  40. Jane cont’d • Jane’s fiancé is in his second year of law- school. • Jane was majoring in chemistry. She was planning on going to medical school. • However, last semester after getting engaged she changed her major to Marriage Family and Human Development. Both Jane and her fiancé have made the decision that once they have children she will be a stay-at-home Mom. • Jane is no longer planning on going to medical school. • Jane very much enjoys her MFHD classes but reports that she sometimes wonders if they challenge her as much as her chemistry classes.

  41. Jane cont’d • Jane came to seven counseling sessions. Her presenting concerns were depressive symptoms. • Career concerns that arose in counseling: • Feeling pressured by her father to go to medical school. • Feeling confused as she wonders if she is ‘selling herself short’ by not getting a degree in chemistry. • Feeling guilty for wanting to stay at home and not have a career, as she feels pressured by society and by her non-LDS friends to have a career. • Feeling like she is doing the ‘right thing’ by choosing to stay home, but yet also feeling like she might be ‘wasting’ her time and her scholarship by getting a degree in MFHD instead of a degree in chemistry. • Feeling that ‘the church doctrine’ tells her to stay home which is what she wants to do but yet still feeling uneasy about choosing to do so, and not really understanding why she feels that way.

  42. Case Study #2 - Susan , College Age • 21-year-old. • Middle of 3 siblings, all girls. • LDS family. Her parents joined the LDS faith when Susan was 13. None of her extended family are members. • Raised in a large city on the East coast. • Father is a lawyer, as were her grandfather and her uncle. They own their own practice. • Susan has wanted to be a lawyer for as long as she can remember. She would like to join her father’s practice one day. • Mother has owned her own business since before Susan was born. • Susan has been married for one year. • Susan is a senior and is starting law school next year. • Susan’s husband is an accountant. • Susan wants to have a career and a family.

  43. Susan Cont’d • Susan came to counseling for four sessions. Her presenting concern was dealing with anxiety. • Career concerns that arose in counseling: • Susan feels that her choice to pursue a career in law and to have a family is often judged harshly by many of her LDS friends. • She reports that she often feels guilty when the topic of working mothers comes up at church or in conversation with other LDS women. • She struggles with understanding the message that she feels ‘the church’ is sending about motherhood and careers. She wonders what is ‘doctrine’ and what is ‘church culture’. • Susan feels that while her mother worked pretty much full time she had a ‘good, balanced and happy childhood’. • Susan feels some pressure from her non-LDS family members to join the family law practice.

  44. Jane and Susan • Both women feel the pressure to choose between being a good mother and having a career. • There is some sense that at this point they see the two as being mutually exclusive. • Both women struggle with having a clear idea about what their religious beliefs are telling them about career, education and motherhood. • Their perception is that they are experiencing pressure on both sides of the coin, the pressure to have a career and the pressure to stay home. • Both experience guilt concerning their decision.

  45. Case Study # 3 – Michelle, Mid-life • 32-year–old. • LDS • Married for 11 years. • Mother of four children ages 2, 4, 7 and 10. • Has a BS in accounting. • Certified Public Accountant. • Michelle’s husband owns his own business and does well. • Michelle chose to return to work after her second child was born.She works 35 hours a week. • Michelle and her husband have flexible schedules and manage most of the child care between them. • They have 2 children in day care for 12 hours a week. • Michelle’s mother recently passed away unexpectedly. • Recently her youngest child was diagnosed with ADHD.

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