Doing “Women's Work”: Men in Nontraditional Occupations
Research tells us of the problems women face when they cross over into male-dominated professions: discrimination, harassment, glass ceilings, exclusion from informal networks. We also know much about female-dominated professions, where pay and prestige are lower than corresponding male professions. What happens to men doing “women's” jobs? Doing “Women's Work” represents the first effort to summarize our state of knowledge about the effects of men in “women's professions,” on the men and their views of masculinity, on the occupations, and on the women with whom they work. Do men get preferential treatment in these positions? Higher salaries? Are they treated the same as their female coworkers? Through a series of statistical and demographic analyses as well as qualitative case studies of men in such professions ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: Across the Great Divide: The Entry of Men into “Women's Jobs”
- Chapter 3: The Pay of Men in “Female” Occupations: Is Comparable Worth only for Women?
- Chapter 4: Men in Female-Dominated Fields: Trends and Turnover
- Chapter 5: Seekers and Finders: Male Entry and Exit in Female-Dominated Jobs
- Chapter 6: Men in Female-Dominated Occupations: A Cross-Cultural Comparison
- Chapter 7: Male Elementary Teachers: Experiences and Perspectives
- Chapter 8: Male Secretaries
- Chapter 9: Male Elder Caregivers
- Chapter 10: Male Strippers: Men Objectifying Men
Research on Men and Masculinities Series[Page ii]
MICHAEL S. KIMMEL, SUNY Stony Brook
Contemporary research on men and masculinity, informed by recent feminist thought and intellectual breakthroughs of women's studies and the women's movement, treats masculinity not as a normative referent but as a problematic gender construct. This series of interdisciplinary, edited volumes attempts to understand men and masculinity through this lens, providing a comprehensive understanding of gender and gender relationships in the contemporary world. Published in cooperation with the Men's Studies Association, a Task Group of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Maxine Baca Zinn
Martin P. Levine
Joseph H. Pleck
R. W. Connell
Clyde Franklin II
Robert A. Lewis
Michael A. Messner
Virginia E. O'Leary
Volumes in this Series
Steve Craig (ed.)
MEN, MASCULINITY, AND THE MEDIA
Peter M. Nardi (ed.)
Christine L. Williams (ed.)
DOING WOMEN'S WORK: Men in Nontraditional Occupations
Jane C. Hood (ed.)
MEN, WORK, AND FAMILY
Harry Brod and Michael Kaufman (eds.)
Edward H. Thompson, Jr. (ed.)
OLDER MEN'S LIVES
William Marsiglio (ed.)
Copyright © 1993 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address:
SAGE Publications, Inc.
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Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Doing “women's work”: men in nontraditional occupations / edited by Christine L. Williams.
p. cm.—(Research on men and masculinity series; 3)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8039-5304-6 (cloth).—ISBN 0-8039-5305-4 (pbk.)
1. Sex role in the work environment. 2. Sex discrimination against men. 3. Sex discrimination in employment. 4. Stereotype (Psychology) I. Williams, Christine L., 1959-. II. Series.
94 95 96 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Sage Production Editor: Megan M. McCue
I am grateful to several people for their help in putting this book together. Michael Kimmel came up with the idea to produce this volume, and he has been a very supportive and instructive series editor. Mitch Allen, my editor at Sage, has been enthusiastic and helpful throughout the process.
I also extend my deepest thanks to my colleagues who served as reviewers: Dana Britton, Sam Cohn, Susan Marshall, Livia Pohlman, Art Sakamoto, Teresa Sullivan, and Debra Umberson. Their critical comments and suggestions were extremely useful in developing the papers that appear in this volume.
Finally, I am indebted to the contributors who devoted their time to this project. They displayed great professionalism and patience, making the process both enlightening and enjoyable for me.[Page viii]
When I was a graduate student, I earned extra money teaching at a local nursery school. I was the only male teacher in the school, and I recall distinctly the reaction of one of the childrens' parents to my presence on the first day of school. Brad was a quiet boy, shy and very sweet, who loved painting on the easels we had set up inside the classroom. The other boys would often enter school by tearing through the indoor play areas and go right for the gross motor areas we had set up outside. When Brad's parents saw me, their eyes lit up and they were overjoyed. “A male teacher,” they sighed with relief. “Please get Brad away from the painting and out to the yard to play with the truck and the other boys,” they pleaded. Their fear about the meaning of Brad's gender nonconformity was palpable, and I wondered if we would collaborate in the discouragement of a future artist. Interestingly, however, the fact that I was a man doing “women's work” did not dissuade them from their belief that I could rescue their son from a life of gender nonconformity.
A few years later, I was again confronted with these issues. I appeared in a television documentary about the ways men's roles were changing. One of the men interviewed was a nurse, whose mother was somewhat embarrassed about her son's occupation. When asked what her son did for a living, she would respond—without pausing for breath—“My son's a nurse and he's not gay.”[Page x]
I've been wrestling with similar issues ever since I undertook a documentary history of “pro-feminist” men in the United States (published in 1992 as Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States, 1776–1990). After all, aren't men who support women's equality actually men who are doing “women's work,” agitating for gender equality in the public and private spheres? And the men whose work I documented had always faced questions about their manhood, from Frederick Douglass, who was branded a “political hermaphrodite” and an “Aunt Nancy Man” to contemporary men who are decried as “wimps” by those who think that support for women indicates insufficient gender identity.
I was reminded of these issues when I read Christine Williams's excellent book, Gender Differences at Work (1989), and I invited her to assemble the best research available in the social sciences that concerns itself with the question of gender nonconformity in occupations. Now, I am delighted to introduce Doing “Women's Work”: Men in Nontraditional Occupations into the Sage Series on Men and Masculinities, because I believe that it presents a challenging set of articles that raise the issues of gender and the workplace in very significant ways.
Interestingly, the articles in this book suggest that crossing over—men doing “women's work”—cuts both ways. On the one hand, there are significant costs for the men, as their manhood and sexuality are often questioned as a result of occupational choices. On the other hand, there are often significant gains that they also receive, such as higher wages than women doing the same work. The articles in this book provide a nuanced and complex understanding of the ways in which occupations, as well as individuals, are gendered.MichaelS.Kimmel Series Editor
About the Contributors[Page 192]
Jim Allan teaches courses in social issues and the social foundations of education at the Tri-College Department of Education in Dubuque, Iowa. His chapter on male elementary teachers in this volume is part of a larger study examining these men's work and home lives, their career paths, the divisions of labor in teaching with women, and the effects on children of a “hidden curriculum” in which “women teach and men manage.”
Jeffrey S. Applegate is an associate professor at the graduate school of social work and social research, Bryn Mawr College, where he teaches courses in developmental theory and clinical practice. A co-author of Men as Caregivers to the Elderly: Understanding and Aiding Unrecognized Family Support, Dr. Applegate has published numerous journal articles on changes in men's roles as caregivers across the life cycle. He has also researched and written about the application of developmental theory to clinical social work practice and is a consulting editor for the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.
Harriet Bradley is senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Sunderland. Her publications include Men's Work, Women's Work, a history of the sexual division of labor in Great Britain. She is currently working on an ESRC-funded research project on gender differentiation in trade unions.[Page 193]
Paula England is professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. Her interests include occupational sex segregation, the sex gap in pay, labor markets, and integrating sociological, economic, and feminist theories. She is author of Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence and editor of Theory on Gender/Feminism on Theory. She will be editor of the American Sociological Review during 1993–1996. She has also served as an expert witness in federal litigation involving employment discrimination.
Melissa S. Herbert is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include gender and labor markets, women and the military, and the social construction of sexuality. Her current research examines the coping strategies employed by women in the military. During 1993–1994, she will be student editorial assistant for the American Sociological Review.
Jerry A. Jacobs is an associate professor of sociology and chair of the graduate program in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research has focused on the sex segregation of occupations and its intersection with career patterns. Recent projects include a study of women's entry into management and an analysis of trends in sex segregation in 56 countries. He has also edited a special issue of the sociology journal Work and Occupations, devoted to questions of sex segregation and gender stratification. In progress is a comparative study of women's employment in the public sector in 10 countries.
Kaisa Kauppinen-Toropainen is a senior research scientist at the Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland. For the academic years 1987–1989, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Helsinki, where she now holds a docent (associate professor) position. Her research covers gender roles, family, and work. She has written extensively on women's positions in the labor market in a cross-cultural perspective, having gathered data from the United States, the former Soviet Union, Estonia, and the Nordic countries. Her most recent article, for the International Labor Organization, was titled “Women in Nontraditional Occupations—International Comparisons: Impacts on the Quality of Work, Job Satisfaction, and Stress.” She is editor of a forthcoming book, Unresolved Dilemmas: Women, Work, and Family in the United States, Europe and the Soviet Union.[Page 194]
Lenard W. Kaye is a professor at Bryn Mawr College graduate school of social work and social research. He is the author of Home Health Care, co-author of Resolving Grievances in the Nursing Home and Men as Caregivers to the Elderly, and co-editor of Congregate Housing for the Elderly. He has published more than 60 book chapters and journal articles on issues in elder caregiving, long-term care advocacy, adult day care, home healthcare, retirement life-styles, and social work curriculum development. His current research is in the areas of self-help support groups for older women, and the ethical and legal aspects of high-technology home care.
Johanna Lammi has studied sociology at the University of Helsinki. She graduated in 1990 and is currently returning to her studies after maternity leave.
Rosemary Pringle is an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where she is also chair of the women's studies committee. She is author of Secretaries Talk: Sexuality, Power and Work, co-author of Gender at Work, and has published numerous papers on sexuality, work, and the state. Her current research interests include gender and the professions, and a series of concrete studies of the body, which have led her to reflect on the place of female butchers and funeral directors. She is currently writing a book about women in medicine, which will combine all of these interests.
Richard Tewksbury is an assistant professor in the school of justice administration at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. His research focuses on deviance and the social construction of gender in marginalized populations. His work has appeared in Deviant Behavior, American Journal of Criminal Justice, and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Currently, he is working on dramaturgically guided investigations of the lives of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Wayne J. Villemez is a professor and head of the sociology department at the University of Connecticut. He has published widely in the area of inequality, with a particular focus both on organization/stratification linkages, and on racial and gender inequality.
Christine L. Williams is an assistant professor of sociology at The University of Texas-Austin. She is the author of Gender Differences at [Page 195]Work, a study of male nurses and female marines. She is completing a new book on the status of men in nursing, elementary school teaching, librarianship, and social work.
L. Susan Williams is a doctoral student in sociology currently studying with Wayne J. Villemez at the University of Connecticut. She specializes in stratification and political sociology.