• Summary
  • Contents
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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 as teaching, secretarial work, caregiving, and stripping, the authors offer an insightful glimpse of the roles of these men in bolstering or undermining the gendered assumptions of occupational sex segregation in the workplace. A fascinating yet scholarly study, Doing “Women's Work” will be invaluable reading for students, researchers, and professionals interested in gender studies, work and occupations, human resources, sociology, management, human services, family studies, psychology, and education. “The studies lead to a more complex and sophisticated view of occupational segregation…. The chapters in Christine Williams' book are logically arranged, and all are of reasonably good quality.” – Contemporary Sociology “The focus on pursuing questions is illustrated most capably by this collection of research on occupational segregation…. The book is an excellent collection of essays for those interested in work and gender issues, providing both a rich theoretical background and case studies of men in nontraditional occupations.” – Masculinities

Men in Female-Dominated Fields: Trends and Turnover
Men in female-dominated fields: Trends and turnover

The occupational structure of the United States, along with that of other industrialized countries, remains highly segregated by sex. In 1986 nearly 6 in 10 employed women would have had to switch occupations to be fully integrated with their male counterparts (Jacobs, 1989a, 1989b). A complementary description is equally true: 6 in 10 men would have had to change occupations to be distributed in the same manner as women. Segregation declined slowly but steadily during the 1970s and 1980s.

Most studies of occupational segregation have focused on women's exclusion from male-dominated fields, for a number of good reasons. First, jobs in male-dominated occupations offer more pay, fringe benefits, authority, and autonomy than jobs ...

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