GEND 356: The Mind At Work - Building off of Heidi

For this post I will be branching off of points that Heidi brings up in her blog post. 

Heidi asks the question towards the conclusion of her post: "why does [society] put such a stigma on waitresses and other low wage jobs?"  While Rose's main point in his book is to address classism, I would argue that the stigma in waitressing is also partly due to misogyny and/or racism.

GEND 356: Jensen "Reading Classes: Chapter Six - Across the Great Divide"

"As we have seen with primary and secondary schools, college students from the middle class generally find in higher education the cultural rules, values, language, and community mores that are familiar to them.  Working class students, again, face a maze of new rules, values, language, and a world of indecipherable references" (150).

GEND 356: Coontz's "Why Gender Equality Stalled"

I was interested in finding infographics relating to this article because I am a visual person.

GEND 356: Luce's and Brenner's "Women and Class: What Has Happened in Forty Years?"

This is going to be my go-to article now when talking about the gender wage gap.  Luce and Brenner's main aim in this article is to highlight the change of wages since the 1960s primarily.  They also highlight the differences between white women and women of color.  They urge that despite the apparent change, there still remains an unavoidable gap because systematic issues have yet to be socially addressed.  The legislative victory for equal rights can only do so much--as Luce and Brenner point out "they were primarily enforced through individual lawsuits" and "these cases can take many years to resolve, and most working-class women have neither the time nor resources necessary to pursue them" (125-126).

While efforts can be made to make sure that women and women of color have access to higher education and better training, this does not do enough to combat social discrimination that impacts hiring and promotional rates.  Women are still being filtered into "easily replaceable" positions like "cashier, retail salesperson and waitress"--jobs that are not considered "good jobs" and are always undervalued and underpaid (127).  Luce and Brenner's example of the janitor versus the housekeeper highlights this discrepancy (124).  It will take mass social change to combat this without strict government monitoring and enforcement--gender and race bias in the workplace still goes largely unchecked.

GEND 356: Laureau's "Watching, Waiting, and Deciding When to Intervene"

In Annette Lareau's article on "Race, Class, and the Transmission of Advantage"  the main argument is that there is little-to-no difference between the "class resources" drawn upon by white middle-class families versus black middle-class families.  Lareau's main points of defense are that "middle-class parents presume that they are entitled to have the institution accommodate to their child's individualized needs" that they "feel comfortable voicing their concerns with people in positions of authority" and lastly that despite race, middle-class parents are "willing and able to climb the hierarchy of authority to pursue their interest" (1).

After giving her methodology and various examples that demonstrate parental demonstration, Lareau concludes that (for this particular age group) race is not a huge factor in the resources that middle-class parents draw upon in order to act in their children's best interest.  While I am skeptical of taking the word of a white woman in this matter, Lareau does acknowledge that race does play a role in what issues arise in black middle-class families and the added burden of weighing "the race factor" in when deciding whether or not to act on their child's behalf.  I realize, however, that it is not the point of the article to explore the idea that middle-class ideology is in and of itself a rather "white" class to begin with.

GEND 356: Anyon's "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work"

Jean Anyon's paper about the "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" outlines a study performed in a few elementary schools in order to see how social class differences are being 'set up' in the school systems.  In the first part of the paper, definitions for social class are laid out as a series of relationships to production of capital, relationships to authority, and relationships to capital itself.

I found this article to be extremely engaging and right now I am trying to think of people that I can share this with.  The differences in teaching styles across the different school types was extremely interesting--especially the implications this makes for replicating class divide.  This is a direct confrontation to the idea that as long as everyone goes to school they have the same opportunities.  Clearly this is not the case, as totally different sets of skills are being taught depending on what "class" the school is in.  It is so frustrating, now, realizing that I was not taught the same caliber of creativity and analysis that children in the "Executive Elite" school were (or rather, I did not realize that it was possible for children in general to learn like this--I thought that the working and even middle class school teaching styles are all that children that age could comprehend).  The Executive Elite school reminded me very much of college--and college is the only time during my school career that I actually felt as though I was learning something, instead of just regurgitating memorized material.

GEND 356: "Some General Values of Working Class Culture"

(As an aside, I thought it was funny that my copy of this was used on the back to record inventory count for a work-related event)

The page reads:

[These are some observations of general cultural values and tendencies and are not meant to be cultural stereotypes but recognitions]

1. COMMUNICATION: To the Point
Direct (even blunt), sometimes impassioned, accepts arguing
Functional (not reflective)
Story Telling--Passing on values, history
Speak the truth (Yet keep it in the family)
Humor--Laugh to survive--Getting Down to it

2. FAMILY: Blood Ties
Support each other
Stay close to home
Parental rule--Often Patriarchy
Persistence and Ingenuity: Making do--Getting by

3. COMMUNITY: Neighborhood
Mutual Respect and Cooperation
Democratic & Egalitarian
Treat others fairly, especially the "little guy"
Often denial and anger
Difficulty is seeing multiple perspectives

4. WORK ETHIC:  Work as fabric of life
Providing for family
Hard work and Follow through
Respect for tools & maintenance
Having a good job
Functional & Practical--Getting things done
Time is money--Work sets schedule

5.  EDUCATION: Get One
Value basic education--
as a means of achieving "a good life"
as a means of achieving "freedom of choice"
But not too much education--"Don't forget where you came from."