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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2016

Stephen R. Barley, Beth A. Bechky and Bonalyn J. Nelsen

Sociologists have paid little attention to what people mean when they call themselves “professionals” in their everyday talk. Typically, when occupations lack the…

Abstract

Sociologists have paid little attention to what people mean when they call themselves “professionals” in their everyday talk. Typically, when occupations lack the characteristics of self-control associated with the established professions, such talk is dismissed as desire for greater status. An ethnography of speaking conducted among several technicians’ occupations suggests that dismissing talk of professionalism may have been premature. The results of this study indicate that among technicians, professional talk highlights dynamics of respect, collaboration, and expertise crucial to the horizontal divisions of labor that are common in postindustrial workplaces, but have very little to do with the desire for occupational power.

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The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-436-5

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Book part
Publication date: 20 June 2003

M.Melinda Pitts

It is well-known that the majority of women work in a limited number of occupations characterized by a proportionately high number of female workers. Moreover, workers in…

Abstract

It is well-known that the majority of women work in a limited number of occupations characterized by a proportionately high number of female workers. Moreover, workers in these female-dominated (FD) occupations earn less, on average, than workers in traditionally male or integrated occupations (McPherson & Hirsch, 1995). This occupational wage differential is widely accepted as a partial explanation for the pervasive gender wage-differential. However, it is unclear why an individual would enter into a FD occupation if the wages are lower than in nonfemale-dominated (NFD) occupations. It is also unclear if women who choose FD occupations could earn more in occupations that are NFD. Therefore, attributing a portion of the gender wage differential to occupational differences may be incorrect. Indeed, differences in the occupational choices of men and women will only explain the wage differential between genders if females in FD occupations could expect to earn higher wages elsewhere.

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Worker Well-Being and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-213-9

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Book part
Publication date: 6 February 2013

Liana Christin Landivar

Purpose – Although most mothers are currently in the labor force, mothers’ labor supply varies by race and ethnicity. However, most of the discourse on mothers…

Abstract

Purpose – Although most mothers are currently in the labor force, mothers’ labor supply varies by race and ethnicity. However, most of the discourse on mothers’ employment, particularly recent media coverage and research on mothers opting out of the labor force, focuses on the experiences of White women in managerial and professional occupations. I address the lack of diversity in the opt- out discussion by comparing the prevalence of opting out of the labor force and scaling back on work hours among Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White mothers in 20 occupations.Methodology/approach – This research employs hierarchical logistic models and hierarchical linear models using 2009 American Community Survey data.Findings – Although mothers of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are more likely to opt out when they have young children, opting out is more prevalent among White mothers. Racial and ethnic disparities are particularly salient when examining work hours. White and Asian mothers are more likely to scale back compared with Black mothers who do not appear to scale back at all when they have children.Social implications – These results show that work–family strategies differ by race, ethnicity, and occupation, and work–family solutions need to address the specific needs of women in different occupations.Originality/value – This study provides evidence suggesting that the opt-out discourse surrounding mothers’ employment has not been sufficiently nuanced and that policy solutions that are based on the experiences of women in managerial and professional occupations are likely to fall short of meeting the needs of most women.

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Notions of Family: Intersectional Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-535-7

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Kea G. Tijdens, Judith De Ruijter and Esther De Ruijter

The purpose of this article is to evaluate a method for measuring work activities and skill requirements of 160 occupations in eight countries, used in EurOccupations, an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to evaluate a method for measuring work activities and skill requirements of 160 occupations in eight countries, used in EurOccupations, an EU‐FP6 project. Additionally, it aims to explore how the internet can be used for measuring work activities and skill requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

For the 160 occupations, work activities were described in approximately ten tasks. Occupational experts and jobholders were invited to rate these tasks and to indicate the skill requirements, using a multilingual web‐survey. Experts were recruited through the networks of the project partners and jobholders through frequently visited websites in the eight countries. The effectiveness of the drafting of tasks descriptions, the recruitment of raters, and the measurement of skill requirements is evaluated.

Findings

The project showed that tasks descriptions for a wide range of occupations and countries can be drafted relatively easy, using desk research. Conducting a web‐survey with a routing for 160 occupations and eight countries is viable. Recruiting experts used more resources than recruiting jobholders using the internet. Measuring skill requirements would need much more resources due to major variations within and across countries.

Research limitations/implications

The article addresses a number of areas that are potentially worthy of further empirical investigations for a Europe‐wide library of occupational titles, work activities and skill requirements.

Practical implications

The paper outlines the potential of a future method for a European library of work activities and skill requirements for occupational titles, thereby facilitating European industrial training efforts.

Social implications

Insight in the work activities and skill requirements of occupations will facilitate labour mobility and related training across EU member states.

Originality/value

This paper explores the potential for a Europe‐wide empirical underpinning of work activities and skill requirements, using a web‐survey and the internet.

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European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Sarah B. Donley

Due to their pervasiveness in American society, cultural gender beliefs often organize workplaces and justify what jobs are suitable for men and for women (Ridgeway, 2009

Abstract

Due to their pervasiveness in American society, cultural gender beliefs often organize workplaces and justify what jobs are suitable for men and for women (Ridgeway, 2009, 2011). When an occupation experiences feminization, jobs and occupations once considered “men’s work” must be “retyped” to justify and accommodate the movement of women into the occupation (Lincoln, 2010; Reskin & Roos, 1990). Using the case of funeral directing, this chapter explores the “retyping” of funeral directing, a formerly male-dominated, currently feminizing occupation by examining shifting gender narratives about funeral work in trade journals published between 1995 and 2013. Findings indicate multiple gender narratives involved in explaining the movement of women into funeral directing and the implications for gender inequality in feminizing occupations. Some narratives (old boy and gender essential) explain women’s entry and justify sex segregation by drawing on stereotypical gender differences in physical strength and emotional labor between men and women. While other narratives (gender blind and gender progressive) reject and challenge essentialism by impugning the notion that gender stereotypes are a reliable indicator of skill.

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Gender and the Media: Women’s Places
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-329-4

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2007

Naomi Gerstel, Dan Clawson and Dana Huyser

To explain job hours in four health-care occupations – physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and nursing assistants, this paper focuses on three sets…

Abstract

To explain job hours in four health-care occupations – physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and nursing assistants, this paper focuses on three sets of factors: class and gender, job conditions and commitment, and family situation. We find that class counts, whether understood in terms of occupation or earnings. Gender shapes hours, but more as a characteristic of occupations than of individuals. Job conditions that explain hours vary, depending on occupational grouping. Families also matter – children, but not spouses, shape the work hours of nurses; spouses, but not children, shape work hours for the other three occupations.

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Workplace Temporalities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1268-9

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Book part
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Julie L. Hotchkiss and Anil Rupasingha

The purpose of this chapter is to assess the importance of individual social capital characteristics in determining wages, both directly through their valuation by…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to assess the importance of individual social capital characteristics in determining wages, both directly through their valuation by employers and indirectly through their impact on individual occupational choice. We find that a person’s level of sociability and care for others works through both channels to explain wage differences between social and nonsocial occupations. Additionally, expected wages in each occupation type are found to be at least as important as a person’s level of social capital in choosing a social occupation. We make use of restricted 2000 Decennial Census and 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1988

Wanda J. Orlikowski and Jack J. Baroudi

Much of the prior research into information systems (IS) workers has assumed that they are professionals. In this paper we examine the characteristics of IS workers, IS…

Abstract

Much of the prior research into information systems (IS) workers has assumed that they are professionals. In this paper we examine the characteristics of IS workers, IS work and the IS workplace, and suggest that this perspective is mistaken. Drawing on the sociological theory of professions as a reference discipline we contend that IS professionalism is an inappropriate categorization, and that such a portrayal limits our understanding of IS workers and their work. We argue in this paper that a more faithful and potentially useful characterization is to view IS workers as members of an occupational group. Within this perspective, an understanding of the occupational culture, context and history of IS workers is essential to an understanding of the IS occupation. We examine and challenge some common myths regarding IS work, technology and the IS workplace. We conclude by making some recommendations for future research, which should enhance our understanding of IS workers as members of an occupation.

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Office Technology and People, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0167-5710

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2019

Maryam Dilmaghani and Vurain Tabvuma

The purpose of this study is to compare the gender gaps in work–life balance satisfaction across occupations. Due to data limitations, the studies of work–life balance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare the gender gaps in work–life balance satisfaction across occupations. Due to data limitations, the studies of work–life balance satisfaction have generally relied on researcher collected data. As a result, large-scale studies encompassing all occupations in the same social and policy context are rare. In several cycles of the Canadian General Social Survey, the respondents are directly asked about their work–life balance (WLB) satisfaction. The present paper takes advantage of this unique opportunity to compare the gender gap in WLB satisfaction across occupations in Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper pools four cross-sectional datasets (N = 37,335). Multivariate regression analysis is used.

Findings

Women in management and education are found to have a lower WLB satisfaction than their male counterparts. Conversely, and rather surprisingly, a WLB satisfaction advantage is found for women in transport over males in this occupation. Further investigation shows that the female WLB advantage in transport is driven by the relatively low WLB satisfaction of males in this occupation, while the opposite is true for education.

Social implications

The findings are discussed in light of the WLB policies and their increasing gender-blindness.

Originality/value

This paper is the first large-scale study which compares the gender gap in WLB satisfaction across occupations, in a given policy context.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2011

Meagan Parrish Meadows, Karina M. Shreffler and Stephanie N. Mullins-Sweatt

Critical occupations refer to professions in which workers perform critical duties to protect and serve the public; the nature of these jobs often exposes workers to…

Abstract

Critical occupations refer to professions in which workers perform critical duties to protect and serve the public; the nature of these jobs often exposes workers to events and conditions that critically impact their mental and physical well-being. In addition to the traumatic experiences part and parcel to the job, characteristics of these critical occupations – long work hours, nonstandard schedules, dangerous tasks, and a physically demanding work environment – contribute additional stressors. Yet, many workers in these occupations thrive despite the risks. Given the stressful conditions of critical occupations and potential for adverse individual and familial outcomes, it is important to consider why individuals would choose to work in critical occupations, why they might respond differently during stressful work-related events, and why some workers are particularly resilient. We posit that personality research offers intriguing insights into career selection, coping, and resilience for workers in critical occupations. Examining factors that reduce risk and promote resilience for these multiple-stressor occupations has the potential to inform research and policies that better meet the needs of employees and their families.

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The Role of Individual Differences in Occupational Stress and Well Being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-711-7

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