The Overtaking of Undertaking?: Gender Beliefs in a Feminizing Occupation

The Overtaking of Undertaking?: Gender Beliefs in a Feminizing Occupation How gender beliefs are used to explain the division of labor in an occupation can recreate or disrupt inequality. Our study contributes to the growing body of research examining which narratives about gender segregation in male-dominated occupations are more or less oppressive to women. We asked 13 female and 9 male U.S. funeral directors to account for the shifting gender composition of their field. Most funeral directors explained women’s entry into funeral directing and justified gender segregation in the occupation by drawing on gender beliefs about women’s superior nurturing “natures” and men’s “innate” superior physical strength and scientific ability. Our findings demonstrate the strength of cultural gender beliefs for shaping narratives about gender and work and suggest ways individuals grapple in their everyday interactions with “degendering” skills in feminizing occupations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

The Overtaking of Undertaking?: Gender Beliefs in a Feminizing Occupation

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-016-0699-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How gender beliefs are used to explain the division of labor in an occupation can recreate or disrupt inequality. Our study contributes to the growing body of research examining which narratives about gender segregation in male-dominated occupations are more or less oppressive to women. We asked 13 female and 9 male U.S. funeral directors to account for the shifting gender composition of their field. Most funeral directors explained women’s entry into funeral directing and justified gender segregation in the occupation by drawing on gender beliefs about women’s superior nurturing “natures” and men’s “innate” superior physical strength and scientific ability. Our findings demonstrate the strength of cultural gender beliefs for shaping narratives about gender and work and suggest ways individuals grapple in their everyday interactions with “degendering” skills in feminizing occupations.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 14, 2016

References

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