Can An Angry Woman Get Ahead?

by Francesca Polletta

angry womanResearchers have shown that women are usually penalized for displaying anger on the job. Women are expected to be friendly, sympathetic, and deferential in dealing with customers, employers, and co-workers. They are expected to withstand other people’s anger, not dish it out themselves.

But the research I conducted with Zaibu Tufail suggested that there may be an exception to that rule. A stereotype of women as emotionally changeable may allow them to display anger if they precede and follow it with displays of positive emotions like sympathy or friendliness. Women can use anger instrumentally and effectively that way. The rub is that the skill is likely to be seen as natural to women, and indeed, as not much of a skill at all. Continue reading

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Filed under Economy, Emotions, Gender & Class

No, You Should Get Married in Your Late 40s (Just Kidding)

By Philip Cohen. Originally posted at Family Inequality (here). The piece is cross-posted with permission.

Please don’t give (or take) stupid advice from analyses like this.

Since yesterday, Nick Wolfinger and Brad Wilcox have gotten their marriage age analysis into the Washington Post Wonkblog (“The best age to get married if you don’t want to get divorced”) and Slate (“The Goldilocks Theory of Marriage”). The marriage-promotion point of this is: don’t delay marriage. The credulous blogosphere can’t resist the clickbait, but the basis for this is very weak.

Yesterday I complained about Wolfinger pumping up the figure he first posted (left) into the one on the right:

wolfbothToday I spent a few minutes analyzing the American Community Survey (ACS) to check this out. Wolfinger has not shared his code, data, models, or tables, so it’s hard to know what he really did. However, he lists a number of variables he says he controlled for using the National Survey of Family Growth: “sex, race, family structure of origin, age at the time of the survey, education, religious tradition, religious attendance, and sexual history, as well as the size of the metropolitan area.”

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Filed under Aging/Life Course, Family, Gender & Class

Race, Rape, and the Vagaries of the US Criminal Justice System

By Kali Nicole Gross

Zeba Blay’s blog post illustrates how the specter of rape hangs over the harrowing video of an African American girl, Dajerria Becton, 15, being violently forced to the ground by former police officer Cpl. Eric Casebolt in McKinney, Texas. This and other indignant opinion pieces draw attention to a critical issue facing black women in the criminal justice system—sexual assault by law enforcement officers.

It’s a timely subject given last month’s horrific massacre in the Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, South Carolina, when avowed white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof fatally shot nine African Americans. One reason, according to him, is that blacks rape white women. There is a tragic irony to that claim. Roof invoked a tired tool of white supremacy—the myth of the black male rapist—to justify his own extralegal violence against African Americans, the majority of whom (six in total) were black women.

Like his southern racist forerunners, Roof’s claim and actions all but ignore the litany of violent sexual assault against black women committed by white men, those in and out of uniform. Continue reading

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Filed under Collective Action & Social Movements, Gender & Class, Law & Social Control

How to Get Sociological Perspectives Into Mainstream Media Coverage? Responding to NYT Coverage of Nail Salon Labor Violations

By Miliann Kang

This is a scenario with which many academics are familiar —we spend months, years, researching a topic, we publish an article or book about it, then the topic breaks in the mainstream media, and our analysis is nowhere to be seen. Others have their work cited, but in soundbites that do not capture the nuance of their perspectives. A few scholars have a much different experience—they and their work are able to shape the narrative significantly when current events bring media attention to their areas of research.

What factors account for greater or lesser cross-over impact? How can scholars meaningfully inform current debates, rather than simply lending credibility to pre-determined arguments packaged to make headline news? Oftentimes statistical work gets cited, but how can deeper analysis based on qualitative and quantitative research be made more visible? Continue reading

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Filed under Collective Action & Social Movements, Economy, Gender & Class

Does Thinking About Future Parenthood Influence the Career Choices of Even Childless Women and Men?

Balancing work with new parenthood is hard, anyone will tell you that. Many couples that were previously dual-earner couples handle the increase in time and energy that a new baby requires by shifting their labor strategies, with most men ramping up and most women ramping down their career involvement. Sociological research that aims to understand why this trend persists, despite women’s significant advances in education and the labor market, have looked at couples with new babies and asked why they made the decisions they made. couple Continue reading

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Filed under Aging/Life Course, Economy, Family

Women Graduate College at Higher Rates Than Men Unless They’re Gay

By Lisa Wade, PhD. Originally posted by Sociological Images (here).

For every man that earns a college degree, nearly two women will. Women have been outperforming men in college since they started attending in the 1920s, but thanks to widening opportunities, an economy that draws women in the workforce, and simple female ambition, women now outnumber men, too. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Gender & Class, Inequality

Marriage, Violence and Choice: Understanding Dalit Women’s Agency in Rural Tamil Nadu

By Nitya Rao

Within development policy and practice, women’s agency has been equated with the ability to make decisions, with freedom of movement and access to resources. It is rarely seen as including the more subtle processes of bargaining, negotiating and resisting, or the more intangible, cognitive processes of reflection and analysis. Agency is framed in terms of positive action rather than patience or endurance, as reflected in the image of an ‘assertive, modern woman’, who speaks rather than remains silent, who goes out and works rather than stays at home with the children, who is schooled rather than not literate, and so on. Continue reading

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Filed under Family, Gender & Class, Global/Transnational