Discrimination in Labor Processes

There is a tendency to eliminate the gender differences in al aspects of human life and consider men and women equal in their rights. However, looking at some particular activities it is still impossible to say that the rights and freedoms of men and women are equal there.

For example, talking about labor processes and considering the desire of women to be treated equally with men the practice shows that the gender differentiation still exists. No matter how strong the social opinion about the equality of genders, the labor process is the expression of those considerations in practice.

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Many works have been written in the relation to the equality of genders and explaining the differences in gender roles at the workplace. Therefore, studying the works by Lorber (2007), Braham (1996), Williams (1992), and Mullings (1997), the salience of gender in the labor process is going to be discusses as the working process is believed to be the most appropriate aspect in analyzing the gender relations.

Dwelling the problem of division of labor Braham (1996) states that the modern consideration of this notion has changed. Therefore, now, discussing the division of labor race and gender aspects are discussed in most cases. Discussing the labor processes and the role of gender, Braham (1996) has noticed the tendency that women more often choose the part-time jobs.

This is connected with their desire to be mothers, but to show that their professional growth is important as well. The author states that the part-time job does not show that women are not that professional in what they do. The author considers the history of women in the labor process and states that the number of women has dramatically increased since 1940’s. Even though a feminization of labor process occurs, the number of men remains higher in comparison to the number of working woman.

Considering the expression of Werneke in 1985 “women are concentrated in a limited range of occupations and are more likely to be found working in relatively less skilled and lower paying jobs than their male counterparts” (in Braham, 1996, p. 319) and comparing it with the modern times, the change in the labor segmentations may be seen. Nowadays women get high paid jobs and the variety of occupations has dramatically increased.

Even though, the segmentation of the occupation still exists. The desire to make the rights of men and women at the workplace equal, there are “male” and “female” professions even though the number of women in male professions increases as well as the number of men in the female ones.

Thus, nursing, librarianship, elementary school teaching, and social work positions have always been considered as female sex-typed occupations, but the tendency to eliminating the sex factor from occupation has lead to the increase of the number of women in male professions and vice versa.

Nevertheless, the prejudiced attitude and discrimination still takes place. The society is struggling for equal rights at the work place, but people are not ready to accept men at the “female” positions too freely (Williams, 1992). Thus, it appears that men do not feel comfortable and have to leave the places they are interested in. The presence of such discrimination will never allow to equalize the genders at the labor market and make sure that the roles of men and women are equally treated.

Lorber (2007) states that the whole society is divided into two roles from birth, male and female and these roles support people through all their lives. The desire to make men and women equal in the social life does not make any sense as people are distinguished from their childhood.

Lorber (2007) pays much attention to the sports professions trying to state that men are stronger and more powerful, therefore the criteria in sports professions are higher for them. Additionally, analyzing the sports equipment, it becomes obvious that gymnastic equipment is created for slim female bodies, while men’s sports are tougher. Men’s and women’s professional sports are based on the capacities of each gender.

No matter how equal the rights in the society, it is difficult to combat with the physiology. Moreover, the author of the book adds the statement that even though the programming comes from Grace M. Hopper who has written a famous work on programming language, this job is believed to be a male one and those women who choose this profession are not paid too much.

Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the gender differences still exist in the labor segmentation even though women occupy high paid and top positions. The discrimination at the work place has been reduced dramatically, still, there are some particular prejudices in the relation to both male and female positions.

The changes in the position hierarchy have occurred for the previous several years and it is not a surprise to see a woman at the top management position, in politics and at other positions which have always been considered as male ones. Additionally, men begin to occupy the professions usually believed to be female. It says about great changes and the beginning of the process of equalization of the roles at the labor processes.

Considering the situation at the labor market and the inequalities in the modern world, it is important to check the place of the employees from poor families in the low wage industries. The conditions at such manufacturing are extremely negative.

The greatest representation of the labor conditions at the low wage industries is presented in the documentary film China Blue (2005) directed by Micha Peled. The main idea of this movie is to show the conditions poor people have to work at. Even though one of the main themes of the movie is the dominant role of China as the exporter, the working conditions are also shown in detail.

The working shift is too long, the wages are too low, but people do not have an opportunity to leave the job as this position gives them the room and the food. The work is hard, but people do not have an opportunity to battle for their rights, as they will be left the most important items they have, room and food. Working in terrible conditions, here all men and women are equal, but there is another hierarchy.

Watching this video, I was frustrated and disturbed with the cruel conditions which still exist in this world. Being too civilized, such countries as China where people are at the threshold of poverty have an opportunity to get money on people who do not have another way out but to work in the current conditions.

Reference List

Braham, P. (1996). Divisions of labor. In S. Hall (Ed.), Modernity: an introduction to modern societies (pp.308-339). New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lorber, J. (2007). Believing is seeing. In B. A. Arrighi (Ed.), Understanding inequality: the intersection of race/ethnicity, class, and gender (pp. 153-160). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

Mullings, L. (1997). Notes on women, work, and society. In On our own terms: race, class, and gender in the lives of African American women (pp.20-29). Oxford: Routledge.

Williams, C. L. (1992). The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the “Female” Professions. Social Problems, 39(3), 253-267.

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