Job Queues, Gender Queues by Barbara Reskin
Explaining Women's Inroads into Male Occupations (Women In The Political Economy)

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Synopsis

Since 1970, women have made widely publicized gains in several customarily male occupations. Many commentators have understood this apparent integration as an important step to sexual equality in the workplace. Barbara F. Reskin and Patricia A. Roos read a different lesson in the changing gender composition of occupations that were traditionally reserved for men. With persuasive evidence, Job Queues, Gender Queues offers a controversial interpretation of women's dramatic inroads into several male occupations based on case studies of "feminizing" male occupation.

The authors propose and develop a queuing theory of occupations' sex composition. This theory contends that the labor market comprises a "gender queue" with employers preferring male to female workers for most jobs. Workers also rank jobs into a "job queue." As a result, the highest-ranked workers monopolize the most desirable jobs. Reskin and Roos use this queuing perspective to explain why several male occupations opened their doors to women after 1970. The second part of the book provides evidence for this queuing analysis by presenting case studies of the feminization of specific occupations. These include book editor, pharmacist, public relations specialist, bank manager, systems analyst, insurance adjuster, insurance salesperson, real estate salesperson, bartender, baker, and typesetter/compositor.


In the series Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.

 

 

About Barbara Reskin

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Barbara Reskin is a Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and, when this book went to press, President of the American Sociological Association. As a student, she supported herself in a series of female-dominated clerical jobs in such disparate settings as radio and TV stations, trucking firms, temp agencies, insurance companies, and universities. The fact that most jobs for women were boring, low-paid and deadend encouraged her to get a PhD. Her research examines how workers sex, race, and ethnicity affect their work opportunities. She is especially interested in strategies that minimize discrimination, the focus of her most recent book, "The Realities of Affirmative Action".
 
Published March 3, 2009 by Temple University Press. 400 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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