How women are held accountable for social ideas of femininity etc in the labor force


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This quarter has provided abundant information on women and work. We have discussed
the relationship between family and work, in particular how the division of labor cuts
across both social arenas.
Using The Managed Hand and other course readings as your theoretical lens, discuss how
women have been held accountable to social definitions of femininity, emotional labor,
and/or body labor and the conditions under which these accountability systems vary by
race-ethnicity, gender/sexuality, and class in two occupations of your choice. One of the
occupations should be from an occupation discussed in class; the other can differ but then
you will need to include research on that occupation.

• Systematically compare and contrast the work experiences of women workers in
two worksites.

• Begin by describing the key features of each occupation (what is the purpose of
the occupation, does it offer benefits, mobility opportunities?), indicate the
number of women in this occupation, their income, and whether or not this is a
female-dominated occupation. You will need to use the BLS Data Book.

• Then, discuss how these occupations are structured, why women enter each
occupation, key features of social relations at work, how they “do gender,” the
gendered and race-ethnic organization of work, what type of emotional labor or
body labor (or both) is expected and how ideal femininity is reaffirmed and/or remapped. Integrate the appropriate readings from our class as you analyze the two
jobs about which you are writing.

• Do not forget to discuss the types of opportunities for advancement that exist in
these jobs and who appears to get them and what they are paid.

• Ultimately, what does the organization of these particular jobs tell us about
occupational inequality by gender, race, and/or class?

• What do you believe the prospects are for women’s resistance and empowerment
in these jobs?
Depending on the occupation you select, you may need to find and draw on at least 1-2 articles
outside of this class to ascertain opportunities for ‘resistance’ and ‘empowerment.’

The length of the paper should be between 6-8 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font. Please
insert your name and page numbers on each page of the paper.


(1) Introduction: By the end of the first paragraph, you must clearly identify the
purpose of the paper. All of you are required to write: “the purpose of this paper
is….” I do not want to guess and if you do NOT do this by the end of the first
paragraph, you will be penalized in terms of points. Remember, your purpose is
not simply to describe occupations or occupational change but to evaluate the
explanatory power of the different views of occupational stratification and
mobility we have discussed in class. Say you are interested in arguing that
women of color and white women both encounter a “glass ceiling” but that the
barriers to mobility differ. You can indicate this as your interest but you must
have a thesis statement which is also called a “statement of purpose” that specifies
the “problem” you are going to analyze and what “theory or theories” you are
going to use to examine the “problem.” You must identify in this paragraph
which theory or theories are most insightful in giving us a better understanding of
the “problem” you have identified and that your paper is going to show this.
Typically, the statement of purpose, the discussion of the “problem” you are
going to analyze, and identifying which theories and/or concepts you are going to
use in your analysis takes a few sentences or a paragraph. After you have finished
the introductory paragraph, you begin your analysis. In general, the introduction
is about ½ page.

(2) Narrative: Present your case. Present the relevant theoretical explanations for
the “problem” you are going to analyze according to your thesis statement. In
each paragraph of this review of the literature, you can discuss how it relates (or
not) to each of the occupations you are analyzing. You can also indicate if the
theories themselves have sparked some questions that you are now asking as you
review your 2 selected occupations. Cite relevant sources for the data, theories,
and examples from readings. This section should be about 3-4 pages but is often
longer which is fine.

(3) Conclusion: Bring it all together. This is a key part of the paper and should refer
back to the Introduction. Tell me how you answered the original questions you
posed and have dealt with your original purpose. This section should be about ½
to 1 page.

(4) Bibliography: At the end of the paper, provide a bibliography that lists all of the
references you cited. Use either the Chicago or APA style sheet. “

My plan was to write about women in modeling and teaching but am open to other ideas. Both these occupations were discussed in our class but we also discussed women in child care, nail salons, etc.