SOCI313 University of Michigan Finding Balance Between Work & Family Paper

Question Description

For this paper, you will interview someone who works in an occupation or field that interests you. Perhaps you are interested in exploring a field that you plan to go into, or a field/job/work situation of someone you know (a parent, friend, relative). The key will be to integrate into your analysis one or several class concepts. Thus, you will use concepts learned throughout the course and apply them to a real-life working situation. 6 full pages, word count at least 2000.

You may draw from any of the concepts we discuss in class. Some of the more popular choices include:

  • Emotional labor
  • Work in a sex-typed occupation (i.e., a female corrections officer or a male nurse)
  • Work/Family balance, or work as a stay at home mother or father
  • LGBTQ identities at work
  • Tacit skills and coping with boring or routinized work
  • Racial and/or ethnic experiences and/or inequalities in the workplace
  • Service work – issues involved with interacting with customers
  • Blue collar work – women in blue collar jobs; devaluation of blue collar work
  • Labor & union organizing or workplace resistance
  • Immigration experiences

I have attached to this handout a basic description of interviewing strategies. Please refer to that as you construct your interview questions. You may write up specific interview questions to follow or you may want to have an outline of topics to cover. Either way, be sure to include questions that will allow you to explore the topic(s) you have chosen for this project.

Below I have provided a basic, suggested outline for how you should structure your paper.

  • You should begin your paper with an introduction of your topic. Here, you want to be sure to list:
  • Next, you should spend a few paragraphs developing and explaining the core course concepts that you have chosen to explore through interviews with your occupational representative. While in the first paragraph (or two) you only briefly mention these, this next section will be where you more fully develop these ideas. This is done so that when you begin discussing the interview in the next section, the reader has a good sense of why your chosen occupational representative facilitates a better – or more detailed – understanding of course concepts.
  • After you fully develop the relevant concepts, you will begin to discuss your interview. Begin with a description of the interviewee: Who is it? How long has s/he worked in the field? Be thorough! This should be two to three paragraphs.
  • After providing a description, you’ll relate interview information to the course concepts. Be thorough as you link the interview to course concepts. This is the heart of your paper! This should be 3-4 paragraphs.
  • Finally, end with a summary of your project. What did you conclude? Did your respondent’s interview answers coincide with what was found in the literature? Did they diverge? In what way? What new information did you learn about this particular occupation? Did the interview and analysis of course concepts provide insight into this field? These are the types of issues to address in this section. Two to three paragraphs.
  • Be sure to provide a reference page documenting all of the sources you used.
  • Also, be sure to include a copy of your interview questions and the notes you took while conducting the interview. You need only to include these with the copy you turn in in class.
  • The occupation you have chosen as your topic
  • The course concepts in which you have grounded your analysis
  • The sociological relevance of choosing the occupation and concepts (and not just, “because I’m interested in this job.”)

Sociological relevance refers to why/how your project is interesting or relevant to social scientists. It is okay to include statements about why it is important to you, but you need to also provide a statement about your topic’s broader implications. This is an important part of this project: being able to connect your project to course concepts. This should be one to two paragraphs.

For example, if you have chosen to study how a male nurse handles emotional labor in a female sex-typed occupation, you would discuss how your paper provides insight into how men may understand and respond to working in a female-dominated occupation. The goal is to connect your specific topic to the broader importance – to connect the micro with the macro. Ask yourself: what is this a case of?

For example, keeping with the above theme, here you’ll want to discuss what is meant by “emotional labor” (here you could cite the Hochschild reading). What is it? How is it done? Who does it affect? Next, you’ll want to talk a little about gendered occupations, with a focus on men working in traditionally female occupational fields.

You will likely cite from course materials, and you should cite these when appropriate. While you are not required to draw from outside sources, doing so will likely improve your argument. Be sure to properly cite (see attachment on Canvas).

Using the above example, you’d want to list detail such as: What is the sex composition of the male nurse’s setting? Is he, indeed, one of the only few men? What drew him to want to work in this occupation?

For example, did the male nurse say anything about emotional labor? About the care ethic that many associate with nursing? What did he say about working in a female-dominated setting? It is essential that you provide answers to the questions you raised in the front half of your paper.

Sociology 346

Interview Guidelines

The interview with your occupational representative should be around 30-60 minutes. You are not required to audio record or transcribe your interview, but if you choose to do so it may be helpful later on as you attempt to integrate interview material with course concepts. However, you will need to take notes during the interview.

You should notify your respondent that this interview is being conducted as part of a research project for your sociology of work class at the U of O. Inform them that none of the information that they provide will be used for purposes that go beyond fulfilling the requirements for this class (in other words, no information will ever be made public by way of journal or newspaper article). Be sure to ask the respondent if he or she feels comfortable providing identifying information (such as name or organizational affiliation) or if s/he would rather have personal information concealed by means of pseudonyms.

You should begin your interview by asking about background information. How long hast the person been working in the occupation? What is their training? What are their workplace conditions like? For example, if you are interviewing a nurse, how big is the hospital? How many patients does s/he usually attend to on a normal shift?

You also want to be sure to ask questions that directly relate to the topic you have chosen to pursue. For example, if you are interviewing a male nurse, you’d want to ask how many nurses there are total in the hospital and how many of them are males.If you are exploring issues of work and family, be sure to ask about how many hours a week he or she spends at home versus at work. This is intuitive, but be sure to be thorough.

Because of the breadth of topics students have chosen for this class, there will be a great deal of diversity in terms of the content of interview questionnaires. I just want to urge you to be thorough when you are thinking about the types of questions to ask your respondent, especially as they relate to your topic.

It is always useful when conducting in-depth interviews to ask people to elaborate on answers, or to provide you with a specific incident that illustrates the concepts in which you are interested.

  • For example, if you are constructing your analysis around emotional labor, you should ask your respondent to elaborate on a specific time when they felt as if they needed to conceal or fake emotions. What, exactly, happened during that incident? How did they feel? A prompt you might use to elicit this type of information might be something like:
    • Can you provide me with an example of a particular incident when you felt like you had to conceal how much you were worried or upset about a patient’s well-being? How did this make you feel at that moment? Were you able to stop thinking about the patient when you went home that day?

The more detailed information you can elicit to illustrate particular topics, the better.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Sociology 346: Autumn 2019 Recommended Length: 6-7 pages Assignment 2: Interview Report DUE: In-class 12/2. Please bring a hard copy to class AND upload a copy to SafeAssign on Canvas. For this paper, you will interview someone who works in an occupation or field that interests you. Perhaps you are interested in exploring a field that you plan to go into, or a field/job/work situation of someone you know (a parent, friend, relative). The key will be to integrate into your analysis one or several class concepts. Thus, you will use concepts learned throughout the course and apply them to a real-life working situation. You may draw from any of the concepts we discuss in class. Some of the more popular choices include: • Emotional labor • Work in a sex-typed occupation (i.e., a female corrections officer or a male nurse) • Work/Family balance, or work as a stay at home mother or father • LGBTQ identities at work • Tacit skills and coping with boring or routinized work • Racial and/or ethnic experiences and/or inequalities in the workplace • Service work – issues involved with interacting with customers • Blue collar work – women in blue collar jobs; devaluation of blue collar work • Labor & union organizing or workplace resistance • Immigration experiences I have attached to this handout a basic description of interviewing strategies. Please refer to that as you construct your interview questions. You may write up specific interview questions to follow or you may want to have an outline of topics to cover. Either way, be sure to include questions that will allow you to explore the topic(s) you have chosen for this project. Below I have provided a basic, suggested outline for how you should structure your paper. 1. You should begin your paper with an introduction of your topic. Here, you want to be sure to list: • The occupation you have chosen as your topic • The course concepts in which you have grounded your analysis • The sociological relevance of choosing the occupation and concepts (and not just, “because I’m interested in this job.”) Sociological relevance refers to why/how your project is interesting or relevant to social scientists. It is okay to include statements about why it is important to you, but you need to also provide a statement about your topic’s broader implications. This is an important part of this project: being able to connect your project to course concepts. This should be one to two paragraphs. For example, if you have chosen to study how a male nurse handles emotional labor in a female sextyped occupation, you would discuss how your paper provides insight into how men may understand and respond to working in a female-dominated occupation. The goal is to connect your specific topic to the broader importance – to connect the micro with the macro. Ask yourself: what is this a case of? 2. Next, you should spend a few paragraphs developing and explaining the core course concepts that you have chosen to explore through interviews with your occupational representative. While in the first paragraph (or two) you only briefly mention these, this next section will be where you more fully develop these ideas. This is done so that when you begin discussing the interview in the next section, the reader has a good sense of why your chosen occupational representative facilitates a better – or more detailed – understanding of course concepts. For example, keeping with the above theme, here you’ll want to discuss what is meant by “emotional labor” (here you could cite the Hochschild reading). What is it? How is it done? Who does it affect? Next, you’ll want to talk a little about gendered occupations, with a focus on men working in traditionally female occupational fields. You will likely cite from course materials, and you should cite these when appropriate. While you are not required to draw from outside sources, doing so will likely improve your argument. Be sure to properly cite (see attachment on Canvas). 3. After you fully develop the relevant concepts, you will begin to discuss your interview. Begin with a description of the interviewee: Who is it? How long has s/he worked in the field? Be thorough! This should be two to three paragraphs. Using the above example, you’d want to list detail such as: What is the sex composition of the male nurse’s setting? Is he, indeed, one of the only few men? What drew him to want to work in this occupation? 4. After providing a description, you’ll relate interview information to the course concepts. Be thorough as you link the interview to course concepts. This is the heart of your paper! This should be 3-4 paragraphs. For example, did the male nurse say anything about emotional labor? About the care ethic that many associate with nursing? What did he say about working in a female-dominated setting? It is essential that you provide answers to the questions you raised in the front half of your paper. 5. Finally, end with a summary of your project. What did you conclude? Did your respondent’s interview answers coincide with what was found in the literature? Did they diverge? In what way? What new information did you learn about this particular occupation? Did the interview and analysis of course concepts provide insight into this field? These are the types of issues to address in this section. Two to three paragraphs. 6. Be sure to provide a reference page documenting all of the sources you used. 7. Also, be sure to include a copy of your interview questions and the notes you took while conducting the interview. You need only to include these with the copy you turn in in class. Sociology 346 Interview Guidelines The interview with your occupational representative should be around 30-60 minutes. You are not required to audio record or transcribe your interview, but if you choose to do so it may be helpful later on as you attempt to integrate interview material with course concepts. However, you will need to take notes during the interview. You should notify your respondent that this interview is being conducted as part of a research project for your sociology of work class at the U of O. Inform them that none of the information that they provide will be used for purposes that go beyond fulfilling the requirements for this class (in other words, no information will ever be made public by way of journal or newspaper article). Be sure to ask the respondent if he or she feels comfortable providing identifying information (such as name or organizational affiliation) or if s/he would rather have personal information concealed by means of pseudonyms. You should begin your interview by asking about background information. How long hast the person been working in the occupation? What is their training? What are their workplace conditions like? For example, if you are interviewing a nurse, how big is the hospital? How many patients does s/he usually attend to on a normal shift? You also want to be sure to ask questions that directly relate to the topic you have chosen to pursue. For example, if you are interviewing a male nurse, you’d want to ask how many nurses there are total in the hospital and how many of them are males. If you are exploring issues of work and family, be sure to ask about how many hours a week he or she spends at home versus at work. This is intuitive, but be sure to be thorough. Because of the breadth of topics students have chosen for this class, there will be a great deal of diversity in terms of the content of interview questionnaires. I just want to urge you to be thorough when you are thinking about the types of questions to ask your respondent, especially as they relate to your topic. It is always useful when conducting in-depth interviews to ask people to elaborate on answers, or to provide you with a specific incident that illustrates the concepts in which you are interested. • For example, if you are constructing your analysis around emotional labor, you should ask your respondent to elaborate on a specific time when they felt as if they needed to conceal or fake emotions. What, exactly, happened during that incident? How did they feel? A prompt you might use to elicit this type of information might be something like: o Can you provide me with an example of a particular incident when you felt like you had to conceal how much you were worried or upset about a patient’s well-being? How did this make you feel at that moment? Were you able to stop thinking about the patient when you went home that day? The more detailed information you can elicit to illustrate particular topics, the better. Both the GTFs and I are willing to help you construct questions for your interviews before you go out into the field. Please visit us in our office hours if you would like to chat more about your interview. I am also willing to look over rough drafts of interview questions if you are seeking a little more direction. Don’t hesitate to contact one of us. Guidelines 1 2 Possible Points Introduction: Introduce topic and discuss sociological relevance. Should include reference to: • The occupation or field of work chosen • The course concepts in which the analysis is grounded • The sociological relevance of choosing the occupation and concepts (and not just, “because I’m interested in this job.”) This means to connect their research goals with broader implications. Deduct points where the chosen field and concepts is unclear, or if the analysis lacks sociological relevance. Expanded engagement with course concept(s). • Concepts should be fully defined and discussed (they may do this in the intro, so don’t deduct points merely if it is missing from this section. But, it should be included somewhere). Deduct points where concepts are not fully defined and discussed. 10 20 3 Description of the interviewee and basic details of their experience in the occupation. • Should be thorough. Deduct points where this is missing, or scant. 4 Relate interview to course concepts • • • 10 This is the most important part of the paper. The interviews should be linked to the course concepts. Deduct points if the interview is missing, or if it is only vaguely discussed. Full points should be awarded to those papers who demonstrate a tight coupling to course concepts/research goals. 30 5 Conclusion and Summarization of paper • The conclusion should provide a basic summary of the project, including reference to the way in which their interview connected to course concepts • Should include a discussion of the new information learned as a result of the study. • Deduct points where the summary is missing or vague, or where it seems abrupt (it should be longer than 2-3 sentences). 6 7 Notes/Questions from interview Overall Style • Deduct more points for poorly-written papers. • Deduct points for overuse on informal language. • Full points should be awarded to those papers that demonstrate clear, proper writing with few – if any – grammatical or errors. 8 TOTAL 10 10 10 100 Points Deducted Work and Sex Stratification The 21st Century: A Century of Firsts The good news! 2018 brought a record number of women into the House of Representatives!!! What it looks like to have a “record number” of women in the House of Representatives. More Accomplishments For Women • Women earn more than 57% of undergraduate degrees and 59% of all master’s degrees. • They account for 47% of the U.S. labor force and 52.5% of the college-educated workforce. • The gender pay gap for women of all economic levels and racial groups steadily eroded during the 80s and 90s. And Yet… • …American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions (2014): – They are only 14.6 % of executive officers, 8.1 % of top earners, and 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs. – They hold just 20% of Fortune 1500 board seats. – In the financial services industry, they constitute 61% of accountants and auditors, 53% financial managers, and 37% financial analysts.13 But they are only 12.5% % of chief financial officers in Fortune 500 companies. – In 2014: They account for 78.4% of the labor force in health care and social assistance but only 14.6% of executive officers and 12.4 % of board directors. None, again, are CEOs. – In medicine, they comprise 34.3 % of all physicians and surgeons but only 15.9 % of medical school deans. – Women accounted for just 18 % of all the directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors who worked on the top-grossing 250 domestic films of 2017. – Women filled just 27 % of all behind-the-scenes roles in broadcast network and streaming programs, and only 28 % of behind-the-scenes roles in cable programs during the 2017-18 season. – https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2018/11/20/461273/womens-leadership-gap-2/ Today’s Roadmap: Gender Inequality at Work • Entrance of women in the labor force – Push and pull factors • Occupational sex segregation • Inequality at work: the wage gap – Causes & consequences – Solutions & the future The Shifting Labor Force • During last half of 20th century, women’s participation rose while men’s dropped – Married women with children entering at highest rates • Why? Push and Pull factors. Push Factors • Push: Factors that make not working difficult – Both economic & social factors • Labor shortages during WWII • As men’s wages fell, women needed to go to work – Economic recessions – Stagnant wages & wage inequality • Rising cost of living – economic necessity • Rising divorce rates = economic uncertainty for women – It’s a complicated relationship: Paid employment may contribute to divorce. Pull Factors • Rewards that attract people to work force – Economic independence and equal opportunity • Legal protections: Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Presidential Executive Order in 1967 – Pursue meaningful career/calling/vocation – Opening of restricted opportunities • Breaking of legal barriers – Education → gender egalitarian ideas • Marriages in which wives have the educational advantage were once more likely to dissolve, but this association has disappeared in more recent marriage cohorts (Schwartz & Han 2014) – They also found relative stability of marriages between educational equals has increased. Occupational Sex Segregation • Refers to the concentration of women & men in different occupations • It’s a pervasive, entrenched feature of the American workplace • Measured by the Index of Dissimilarity (IOD) [Ranges from 0-1] • 1 = indicates complete segregation • 0 = indicates complete integration Index of Dissimilarity • The labor force is comprised of 47% female (53% male) – If I.O.D was 0, each occupation would be .47 female and .53 male. • The actual I.O.D is .52 • 52% of either men or women would need to change jobs to bring about sexintegration Occupational Sex Segregation • “Sex-typed” occupations – Those in which 70% of the workers are either men or women • 52% of all women work in occupations that are over 70% female [nursing, social work, secretarial] • 57% of men work in occupations that are 70% male [truck driving, janitors, pilots, police] • 41% men and 37% women work in “mixed” occupations: retail sales, supervisors, lawyers, physicians, bus drivers Feminization of Occupation • Over the 1970s, the IOD dropped – Reflects the movement of women into fields historically dominated by men • Bus drivers, accountants, real estate • Shifting occupational segregation – Women now represent the majority of veterinary students • Any female jobs shifting to male? – 3: cooks, food prep workers, “housemen” (butlers?) %age Male Nurses Gendered Jobs • In large part as a result of segregation, jobs can take on characteristics of those who typically perform them – Nursing, Teaching, Social Work: Empathy, caring, nurturing, help-mate. Assumption: Women are better suited – Law enforcement, “Rambo” litigators/lawyers, financial industry, pilots: aggressive, warlike, ruthless, emotionally neutral (showing lack of empathy), steady hand/protector. Assumption: Men are better suited • Other male jobs?? • These assumptions perpetuate sex segregation Gendered Jobs • We come to see jobs as “appropriate” for men and women (and for ourselves) • Institutionalization of sex segregation – Some of these assumptions were formerly institutionalized by law • In 1948, Supreme Court upheld a state law that forbade the licensing of female bartenders (unless they were wife or daughter of owner) • In 1949, by law, “airplane hostesses” had to be single, widowed, or divorced with no children • Military ban on women in combat repealed 2013 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Age Discrimination Act of 1967 instituted equal employment laws and prohibited sex and age specific language in job ads & hiring The Gendered Wage Gap • An important link b/w gendering of jobs and sexbased inequality appears when we examine the relative values attached to different kinds of work – The higher societal value placed on males and masculinity is reproduced w/in the workplace • Economically: wages • Socially: prestige and status The Wage Gap • Ratio of women’s to men’s earnings – Census: full-time, year-round (excludes teachers, construction workers, seasonal workers) • 2013: 78%, 2015: 80%, 2018: 81.6%(Census Bureau) • Translation: On average, women make 81.6 cents for every dollar men make. – The BLS method does not account for selfemployed workers, though it does include people left out of the year-round wage measure. • 2013: 82%, 2015: 78%, 2018: 81.1% (B.L.S) Wage Gap by Sex • It has always existed, and continues to persist: – Across all race/ethnic groups – across educational categories – over the life cycle – within occupational categories – across cultures The Not-So-Pink Ivory Tower • Mullin (2012): Is education a remedy for closing the wage gap? • Women’s graduation rates are higher, but why isn’t this translating into economic gains? – Must attend to intersectionality – the ways that gender combines with class, race, ethnicity is important • For wealthier students, the gender gap favors men (p. 36) • Women are likely to attend low-status institutions • Gender-segregated fields Wage Gap: Age • 2017 (BLS): Women age 25-34 = 89% men’s earnings – Women 35-44 = 83% men’s earnings – Women age 45-64 = 73% men’s earnings. • Why does this exist? – Cohort differences: • Younger workers are at the beginning of their careers in a more gender-equal world than the one in which older workers started – Life Cycle differences: • wage gap smaller before life events take place (marriage & childbirth) Why does wage gap persist in general? • Occupational Sex Segregation – Jobs held disproportionately by women pay less than comparable jobs held disproportionately by men – Folbre (2018): Most occupations that involve care for others pay less than other occupations, even controlling for education, experience, other factors • But why? The links are complex, but pay rates are partly determined by: – Cultural understandings regarding “worth” of jobs – The values that should be given to various kinds of skill Gender Wage Gap • Motherhood Penalty – Budig (2014) finds that there is a 4-8% wage penalty for each child a woman has (worse for women in low-wage industries). – Men receive 11.6% bonus – https://www.thirdway.org/report/the-fatherhood-bonus-and-the-motherhood-penalty-parenthood-and-the-gender-gap-in-pay Motherhood Penalty • More breaks in employment -> fewer y …
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