Often the terms gender inequality and gender stratification are used interchangeably. There are a variety of approaches to the study of gender stratification. Scholarly debates focus on which dimensions of inequalities are most relevant and the level at which inequalities are generated and maintained i. Researchers have been challenged to explore gender, race, and class inequalities from an intersectional perspective, rather than treating gender as independent of race and class.
There is little acknowledgment of the heteronormativity that is present in gender stratification research. Perhaps that will change once data regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression becomes more widely available.
In this section, we present key areas of gender stratification research. Gender stratification can be examined at the level of individual outcomes and interactions or with a macro perspective that compares indexes of gender inequalities across countries. Although welfare states research examines many aspects within and across societies, it provides important insights in how state policies can shape patterns of gender stratification. Although we provide examples of research noting gendered health disparities are outcomes of gender inequalities within societies, not all health research makes this connection.
Research on crime as well as migration and citizenship has traditionally focused on men. Yet a recent shift to include women more explicitly and gender more broadly has great potential to inform other areas of research on gender stratification. Crompton writes that a mere cultural approach to gender inequalities ignoring class is also flawed. Blumberg argues that economic dimensions of inequality are paramount, as they precede inequalities in other domains. Keister and Southgate posits that gender is often seen as one dimension of stratification.
However, Risman and McCall argue for an intersectional approach where gender is analyzed across all dimensions. In addition to questions about which dimensions of inequality are important for stratification, the level at which to examine gender stratification is also a key aspect of scholarly debate. Some scholars compare men and women within couples, others men and women within societies, and West and Zimmerman makes a compelling argument that gender and, by extension, gender inequality is created in everyday interactions.
Nevertheless, Blau, et al. The book makes a strong argument that it is problematic, if not impossible, to examine class properly without also examining gender and race. A foundational work on intersectionality. Brinton, and David B. The declining significance of gender? Macro-level mechanisms economics, organization, politics, and culture , shape gender stratification and our perception of gender inequality. All essays show how macro-level mechanisms and individual outcomes are linked and need to be considered jointly.
A general theory of gender stratification. She argues that a class orientation is crucial in gender research and should not be merely replaced by a new focus on sexuality.
A contemporary approach to race, class, and gender. Their discussion of the persistence of gender inequality in education, paid work, and within families is very accessible. The complexity of intersectionality. Gender as social structure. This is a must-read for anyone who examines gender inequality at any level.
West, Candace, and Don H. This paper can be thought-provoking even for advanced undergraduates and illuminates how actions and interactions may be at the core of the persistence of gender inequalities at all levels. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.
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