ByAliya Hamid Rao
“How’re you going to find a job when you have no confidence and are very emotional?”
Emily Bader, an office administrator asked me this rhetorical question when I interviewed her about her husband’s unemployment. Emily was worried about her husband, Brian, currently unemployed, who used to work as a project manager. She was concerned about the personality he projected when he went on job interviews. She thought he needed to be confident and upbeat. In his interview with me, Brian agreed with this.
But, after half a year of being unemployed and job-searching, Brian was down in the dumps. Projecting cheer was difficult for him. Emily worried about Brian, but she also worried about when and whether he would find a job. She worried for their future.
Being unemployed is difficult. There is a lot on the line: money, your relationship with your spouse (especially if you’re a man), and feelings of shame and stigma are just some of the negative impacts of unemployment.
But if you’re a white-collar worker, job-searching means showing your best side even you feel your worst. It means convincing potential employers that you not only have the right skills, but, as on a date, you also have “chemistry” with the employers. As sociological research has shown, job-searching and going on job interviews requires tremendous amounts of what sociologist Arlie Hochschild called emotional labor – “the management of feeling to create a publicly observable facial and bodily display.” Continue reading “The woman behind the man: unemployed men, their wives, and the emotional labor of job-searching”
By Dana M. Britton
Picture a professor. Who comes to mind? These are the pictures I found in a Google Search for public domain images of a “Professor.” The first 22 above are a diverse group, at least in terms of their eyewear, neckwear, and hair (facial and otherwise). They are real and fictional, live and animated. And they are all white men.
This group of images captures an enduring cultural stereotype about who discovers and possesses scientific knowledge. It also captures an aspect of reality. Women are more likely to hold university faculty positions than ever before, yet they remain underrepresented in the highest prestige institutions, the highest paying disciplines and at the highest ranks. As of the academic year 2013-2014, men were about three times as likely as women to be full professors at degree-granting postsecondary institutions. As this image suggests, most of these men were white. Of all full professors, 57% were white men, while men of all other racial and ethnic groups made up 13%. White women were 25% of all full professors, women of all other racial/ethnic groups, 5%. Continue reading “Is there a chilly climate for women faculty?”
By Janette Dill, Kim Price-Glynn, and Carter Rakovski *
Occupations that have a large percentage of female workers – what we call feminized occupations – typically pay less than occupations with a predominately male workforce, even when the jobs require similar skill sets or education. And feminized occupations that require providing care for other people, called care work, are even more devalued. On the other hand, when men enter feminized occupations, past research has shown that they often experience a “glass escalator” effect, which raises their wages and opportunities for promotion as compared to their female counterparts. We were curious about what happens when men enter a feminized care work occupation. We know that care work occupations are devalued, which would lead us to expect that men working in care work occupations would make lower wages as compared to men in other occupations. However, men may enjoy the benefits of the “glass escalator” in feminized care work occupations, which may help to compensate for the devaluation of care work and boost their wages. Continue reading “Does it Cost Men to Care?”
By Ivy Ken & Benjamín Elizalde
Photo Credit: Benjamín Elizalde
People tend to think about school meals from the point of view of children: Does the food taste good? Is it nutritious? How much of it is thrown away?
Feeding kids at school, though, is also a labor issue. We spent half of last year in Chile to study the school feeding program there, focusing on the labor conditions of women along the commodity chain that supplies public school children with meals. The government outsources this public service to private companies that hire workers to prepare students’ food. In Chile these workers are called manipuladoras de alimentos: food handlers. More affectionately they call each other tías or señoras de la cocina, and throughout the country these women are organized, unionized, and politically active.
In October 2014 the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, used the occasion of International Rural Women´s Day to announce a new law to support women’s work. “All companies that help the state to serve Chile should be the best, with outstanding labor practices,” she said (translated). The law applied to 40,000 manipuladoras along with cleaning and maintenance staff, security workers, and drivers, or in other words, employees of companies that contract with the state. For manipuladoras, the law requires a yearly bonus of CLP$67,500 (about US$100) and salary for the months of the year when school is out of session. To accomplish this, the government is supposed to give priority to the food service companies that agree to pay it. Continue reading “Cheap Food & Women’s Work”
by Francesca Polletta
Researchers 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 “Can An Angry Woman Get Ahead?”