As you know, one of the chief contributions of the sociological imagination is that it helps us to understand the ways in which social forces affect individuals and vice-versa.
As you know, one of the chief contributions of the sociological imagination is that it helps us to understand the ways in which social forces affect individuals and vice-versa. One of the best places to study this interaction is the world of work. As we have discussed, one’s sex and gender have a profound influence on one’s work life.
Sex and gender influence, among other things, our occupation, wages, salaries and benefits, and job satisfaction. This exercise is designed to sharpen your understanding of the world of work and its ramifications for women and men.
Instructions 1. Begin by selecting an occupation you would like to explore. The most fruitful would be one in which you would like to work. For instance, when I was in my early twenties, I wanted to be a sociologist, so I will use sociologist throughout this example. 2. Utilizing the most current government data available, determine the sex distribution for your occupation.
What proportion of the occupation is women and what proportion is men? In order to do this, you will need to access the Statistical Abstract of the United States.20 It can be found on line at https://www.census.gov/library/publications/time-series/statistical_abstracts.html
Statistical Abstracts of the United States. And click on this link. Then scroll down to “Section 12. Labor Force, Employment, and Earnings.” The scroll down to table 616: Employed Civilians by Occupation, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin and click on the table.
Review table 616 and determine the sector of the economy in which your chosen profession resides. Find your desired occupation. It may not be on there specifically so you might have to get creative (for example, if you want to be a Sociologist that wouldnt be on there. But teacher, college and university would be). Teachers, college and university” is in the “Managerial and Professional Specialty.” Hence my job is found in the professional sector.
Finally for your chosen occupation, determine the difference in median weekly earnings between women and men who are full time wage and salary workers. This will involve some detective work on your part. Again, use the most current data available.
Once you have collected your information, write a paper that addresses the following (note that this exercise format does not lend itself to being written as an essay):
The sex distribution for your chosen occupation. What percentage of your chosen occupational category is women and what percentage is men? Does the sex distribution suggest occupational sex segregation? If so, to what extent?
The sector of the economy in which the occupation is located.
The weekly median earnings for women and men and the difference in those earnings measured by both dollars and by percentage.
Is there a wage gap in your chosen occupation? If so, how large is it and in whose favor?
Drawing on what you have learned this week regarding gender and work, what are the possible explanations for any gap that you found? This is the most important question in this exercise, hence be sure to be detailed and precise in your answer (draw on in-class lectures, discussion and assigned reading here).
However, be careful because we cannot provide definitive answers to this question without conducting a systematic and comprehensive study which is clearly beyond the scope of this exercise. Hence you should discuss factors that should be investigate to explain the gap.
(no cover paper just need the essay)