Transformation of Work

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  • Topic: Gender, Masculinity, Gender role
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  • Published : November 21, 2012
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Bachelor of Science (Hons) In Marketing
BMME1 1142A

Type of Assignment:
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UOB ID No.:
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INDIVIDUAL
TRANSFORMATION OF WORK (BAFW4)
MR JOHN NEO BOON LEONG
KAM YONG KUAT
10038891
27th JUNE 2012

Page 1 of 4
BMME1 1142A
Transformation of Work (BAFW4), Individual Assignment, 27th June 2012 Kam Yong Kuat (UB: 10038891)

A critical review of an academic article concerned with certain aspects of new issues of work Cross, S. and Bagilhole, B. (2002) Girls’ Jobs for the boys? Men, Masculinity and NonTraditional Occupations. Gender, Work and Organization, Vol 9, No.2 pp204-226 Introduction of Gender segregation of the labour market

By nature, there has always been occupational segregation through gender in all countries. This is the case, despite the differences in economy or political situation in the different areas. Even though it has been a long while since women have participated in the working force, women and men still tend to work in different industries, for one reason or another. Research conducted by Simon Cross and Barbara Bagilhole (2002) has shown that men dominated industries like drivers of road goods vehicles, production works, maintenance managers, warehouse and storekeepers, technical and wholesale representatives. And on the other end of the spectrum, only two occupational groups are wholl y female dominance (more than 90%); nurses and care assistants. Other female dominated industries including counter clerks, cashiers, catering assistants, primary and nursery school teachers and cleaners or domestic helpers.

Unfortunately, gender segregation operates both horizontally and vertically in the working force. Not only are men and women allocated qualitatively in different field or work, women happened to make up the vast majority of the lower levels of the occupational hierarchy. Taking example from the nursing industry in the US, men makes up only the clear minority, yet, most are strongly encouraged to apply for promotions into managerial positions. William (1992) has highlighted on a very interesting metaphor of the ‘glass ceiling’ to that of ‘glass escalator’ in order to reflect the men’s smooth and inexorable rise to senior management. Many theories have been put forward to explain the persistence of gender divisions in employment, and it has mainly focused on women’s inability to compete on equal terms to men in the labour market. (Cross and Bagilhole, 2002)

Men, masculinity and ‘non-traditional work’
According to research conducted by Hearn (1992), masculinity has been found to be far from uniform and it is seen not as ‘the essence of men’, but rather as a product of cultural and historical forces. There have been other theories that highlight that man who worked in nontraditional occupations tended to present a less masculine gender-type compared with men in traditional male-dominant occupations (Chusmir, 1990).

Judging from the entertainment and media scene in Singapore, it seems to further prove what Chusmir (1990) has argued. 90% of make-up artist, hairstylist and fashion designers tend to portray a more feminine persona, moving away from the traditional male masculinity. Some have even been regarded as a ‘fairy godmother’ (David Gan – Asiaone News, 2010). It may be due to the fact that clienteles from these industries are mainly female, thus the feminine persona, and eventually, homosexuality. But these also further clarify the point that Collinson and Hearn (1996) made, that masculinities are ‘socially produced, reproduced and indeed changeable’. There are also arguments that suggests men adopted a ‘transformed’ masculinity in nontraditional occupations such as teaching (Galbraith 1992) and men who reject stereotyped gender roles, and who performed non-traditional work, reported little or no gender role conflict (Luhaorg and Zivian, 1995)

Page 2 of 4
BMME1 1142A
Transformation of Work (BAFW4), Individual Assignment, 27th June 2012...
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