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Gender and Stratification

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Gender and Stratification ________________ -A.W. Although social stratification lies at the heart of macro-sociology, the study of gender and stratification is comparatively recent, and developed from feminist scholarship. The traditional sociological view is that the oppression of women is adequately covered by class analysis. Feminist theory insists that the class structure, and the oppression of women within patriarchal systems, are separate but interacting social processes. Conventional class analysis treats all members of a household as having the same social class as the main breadwinner, who is usually a man. Feminists debated whether wives should be allocated to classes on the basis of their husband?s occupation or the wife?s current (or last) ...read more.


The feminist assumption that dual-earner and dual-career families would become universal after equal opportunities policies took effect has been proven wrong, even for ex-socialist countries. Instead, couples choose between three family models, corresponding to women?s three lifestyle preferences: a minority of work-centered women who adopt the male profile of continuous full-time employment and are financially self-supporting; a minority of home-centered women who are dependent on their spouses after marriage; and a majority of adaptive women who are secondary earners within their households rather than careerists, and have varied employment patterns. This heterogeneity of women?s lifestyle preferences, and thus employment profiles, cuts across social classes, education levels, and income levels. ...read more.


The picture in developing societies depends a lot on whether women have independent access to the labor market/market economy, have access primarily through male members of their family (father or spouse), or are expected to refrain from market activities and devote themselves exclusively to homemaking and childrearing activities. In agricultural societies, technology is also an important factor in women?s social and economic position ? as illustrated by large differences in women?s position in economies depending on the hoe or on the plough. Important Note: This work is owed to ?The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology? published by Wiley Publications in 2011. Please acknowledge this information if you are to use this work for any of your writings. Thank you. -A.W. ...read more.

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