Gender and class is a major determine in how individuals are employed and treated in the work place. Work is the carrying out of tasks, which enable people to make a living within the environment in which they find themselves. But in fact, it is very difficult to understand the nature of work and puts us in a poor position for better understanding the changing contemporary work. According to Tony J. Watson, “Work is basic to the ways in which human beings deal with the problems arising from the scarcity of resources available in the environment.
The scarcity of resources in the world influences the patterns of conflict and competition, which arise between social groups. It follows from this that the social organization of work will reflect the basic power relationship of any particular society. But patterns of social relationships do not relate to power structure alone. They are also closely connected to patterns of meaning.” (Watson 1995.113) Therefore, the ways in which people think and feel about work will closely relate to their wider political and religious doctrines and to their general cultural orientations.
This paper will look at gender, class and ethnicity and show how these concepts relate to whether you are employed and given the chance to succeed within the work industry.
The concept of gender in relation to the division of labour in the workplace, and in relation to issues of power and control is considered to be an unfortunate, groundless stereotype. Gender division of workplace labour may be rooted in the ideology of the sexes in traits and abilities and on various power control mechanisms. These control mechanisms are primarily exercised by men over women and serve to exaggerate differences between the sexes, especially surrounding women’s presumed incapability for doing male identified work
The traditional roles and consequently women’s identities have been formed and maintained by the workplace, therefore understanding any gendered differences in labour requires an examination in this light. The concepts of male and female are not independent relationships of the workplace, but have been strongly influenced and determined by the relationships of male and female in society at large.
Women have always taken a subordinate role to men in society. There has always seemed to be one set of standards that apply to men, and another set of standards that apply to women. This is evident in the home, workplace, and all throughout society.
Years ago there was the expectation that women were supposed to get married and stay home to raise a family. The man was expected to go out to work to support his family. If the woman chose to have a career, she was considered “barren” or “lacking in maternal instinct”, and her partner was often considered inadequate, as it was assumed he was not a “good provider”. Things have changed to some degree. Today there is more sharing of family and household responsibilities, and both males and females are working in less traditional careers. For example, we have both male and female nurses, fire fighters, and engineers. Things will continue to change but it may or may not always be for the better.
Unfortunately the gendered division of labour has maintained its origins in the home, while reproducing its structure in the workplace. This can be seen inside families through the sharp distinctions between paid work and non-work, paid and unpaid productivity, and even the separation of the private and public spheres where women are perceived as attached to the private and men to the public domains. This is an important issue because while home and work may be physically separated for working men and women, home is often not a haven for women but rather just another place of work. The gendered division of labour then, is not limited to the paid work force, but continues to the realm of unpaid work at home.
Men’s work or is it women’s work, this is to distinguish Work by the difference of sex. Usually, there is a prejudice of sex in employed area. Most of women used to work at home, and do the housework. On the other hand, men work outside and get the payment. Right now, the role and position of women have changed a lot. They also work outside; some of them even work at very important position and get quite high wage. However, most of them are doing part-time job, and get low salary.
Occupational segregation may play a vital role in maintaining the gender inequality were women may be employed to supervise other women only and have fewer decision making powers. This may occur more in service industry were there is no formal or informal power.
Most forms of workplace control take the form of harassment, sexual bribery, and gender based jokes and comments, and profanity, which passively but succinctly make gender differences a salient aspect of work relations. The ideology of gender in the workplace may show that men in have traditionally acquired and maintained the bulk of wealth and power in society.
The factor that would show issues between the genders is the issue of power and control, namely the existence of sexual harassment in the workplace. This behaviour varies in its definition due to its subjective nature, however it can generally be described as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive work environment, or more simply unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender related nature.
The power of inequality in the workplace between genders is based on social division ensuring that there is and imbalanced in power.
Social classes and class structure are the most decisive forces that affect us in most everything we do in our lives. Human behaviour varies in accordance with which class one belongs to and how one’s class position and class-consciousness translates into. Social class influences many aspects of our lives. Karl Marx and Max Weber have different views upon social class in contemporary societies. In Karl Marx’s perspective, social class has a two-class system whereas Max Weber argued that social class has three dimensions of stratification: class, status and party. Class stratification means that society is made up of different unequal groups, Karl Marx is probably the most famous person to argue about the effect of class in society.
Mark’s argument is that society is really all about economics – who gets what and when. How economic reward influences access to political power and social status, so there are groups within society and these groups he calls classes, working, middle and upper. Karl Marks gives an explanation of inequality through “the Method of Production”. The upper class has the most privilege because they are able to control the distribution of wealth while the working class has the least privilege and reward because they do not control how material reward is produced, so society is all about who controls the most wealth.
A “class” is any group of persons occupying the same class status. Unlike Marx’s two-class system, Weber divided “class” into four categories: propertied upper class, property less intelligentsia (white-collar workers), the petty bourgeoisie, and the manual working class. A propertied class is placed at the top because they own economic power, social status and political influence. A property less intelligentsia is a professional class. It was placed next because they not only have relatively high social status and some political influence, but also have higher position in the labour market. and ownership of lesser forms of property than propertied class (e.g. stocks and shares). A petty bourgeoisie was placed third because they have less property ownership, less social status and less political influence (e.g. a small business owner). The manual working class was placed the last because of they are relatively lack of property ownership and lower position in the labour market, and they have lower social status and political influence as well.
The main way in which individuals are allocated to their “social class” is via their employment position and the structure of employment has been divided up in various ways in order to generate them. This is known as the employment aggregate approach to class analysis. There are six categories, ranging from professional occupations to unskilled manual workers, which clearly show the hierarchy of occupations advantages and disadvantages.
The class structure for men differ from women’s due to employment opportunities. It was not until recently that women were actually able to do the same jobs as men and get equal pay. Therefore this caused problems when measuring women’s class position, because although they were working their income was fairly low compared to men doing the same job. Therefore, a man and woman who are doing the same jobs were likely to be measured in the same social class.
The concept of how ethnic origin plays a significant role in determining the work experience within workforce is determined by how employers employ their staff.
Discrimination is negative factor and it is wrong for any employer to select employees on any basis other than merit and ability. However, applicants from minority backgrounds have frequently had to surpass many more obstacles and difficulties than applicants from the majority, such as poor schooling and poor training.
Minority applicants are just as skilled as those from the majority but that talent is frequently untapped due to lack of opportunity. However employers must have the flexibility to employ the best candidates as they see fit in order to ensure efficiency and productivity.
By bringing more minority applicants into the workplace, in an environment in which everyone works as part of a team, we can help alleviate such bigoted attitudes. This though may cause more divisions in the workplace. Another of our cultural ideals is that our society should be a merit system, in which the only criterion for selection is ability. The proposition’s aim of improving representation in high profile jobs and positions is indeed worthy but we should not sacrifice the principle for it. In any multicultural society the ideal for which we should strive is that the mix of races and sex in any particular job or position is the same as it is in the wider population. At present the under-representation of minorities and women in certain fields (e.g. the police force and judiciary) leads to perceptions of institutional racism and sexism, undermining their credibility.
Gender, class and ethnicity seem to determine how individuals are employed and regulated in the workplace.
The constraints that has bind the role of women and men has changed over the years and the way society thinks. Men and Women are not able to under take positions that were once classed as men jobs only. But what remains is the sexual inequality of women to remain in inferior work despite the Equal Opportunity Commission. Women are still passed over for high-powered jobs unless it is in a women dominated industry were there is no formal or informal power.
Also Social class status is another controlling factor that determines the factors to employ and regulate the work force as discussed in this paper the class structure for men and women differ along with ethnicity that affects employment opportunities. It shows the differences in income and like gender has a constraint of how power is distributed.
The final factor that determines the regulation of employment is ones ethnicity this is measured by how many minority groups are employed within an establishment and clearly show the hierarchy of occupations advantages and disadvantages.