Analysis of Workplace Behaviour: Sociology

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Many issues in the line of employment relations are contentious and most likely to provoke strong opinions and debate. Through the years, the concept of workplace behaviour has become increasingly important as the Australian workplace is constantly changing and evolving. However the issues of equal employment initiatives, still remains a common problem in the work environment. One of the most controversial issues occurring in today’s society is gender discrimination. Women are becoming very significant in the workplace, as more and more women are participating and part taking in to all types of work. Yet, regardless of these factors, women, especially working mothers, have no place in the workforce. In recent Australian papers, the topic of pregnancy discrimination has spiralled as Virgin Blue Airlines, an industry leader in supporting mothers, is involved in a discrimination case against two of their female employees (The Sydney Morning herald, 2011). The case involves the issue of discrimination and harassment, as both of the workers were being treated unfairly due to the fact they were pregnant. Gender discrimination can be related to Emile Durkheim’s idea that societies are built on ‘social facts’, he suggested that these ‘social facts’ are aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals, and influence the way we think, feel and act (Clegg and Dunkerley, pp.23). It is a human right, not a privilege, for a woman to work while she is pregnant. Our society is developed around a social structure that creates barriers for women that continues to disadvantage them in the workforce. In this situation, the needs of men are treated as the norm and women are ignored (Moyle, 2002). As such, men are seen as in a position of power, where women are limited by their choices yet we accept this framework as the logical truth. “More than half of the airline's workforce was female …We are one of the only companies in Australia with 50 per cent female...
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