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Socioeconomic Status

Research Paper Do to the circumstances of a person’s birth, their socioeconomic status of the family that they are born into can make them a victim of unfair treatment in life. Gender inequality is an innate characteristic of women. Women are the largest minority in America and they are of the female gender.

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Gender is the meaning of being a male or female in a society. Gender role refers to the attitude and behavior that is used when referring to male or females.

Female gender has always been considered inferior to men. The attitude has always been that males were superior to females in their abilities, because they have strength, they are smarter and they have the ability to provide a better life. It is the belief that women take care of the home and children and the men go to work and earn the money. According to Sigmund Freud, he summed up in his famous idea the “anatomy is destiny”, which stated that females felt short changed because they do not have a penis.

He concluded, that woman need to fulfill this envy by giving birth to a child. (pg. 190) Perpetuating gender inequality through values refers to jobs are automatically assumed to be gender specific. Fireman and Policeman are men only. Engineers, architects, project managers, doctors, etc. , are thought of as male orientated. However, women do very well in these areas. The value placed that men can do a better job is also considered a social attitude.

The ideologies that have been set by society, even though it has been shown that male and female have equal capacity for learning and doing math and science, males have advanced in the workforce. After WW11, women stayed home and raised families. Men went to work and provided for the family. That has changed and since 2004 women make up 60. 5% of the workforce. However, they do not make the same money as men. pg 191) Race is a group of people distinguished from other groups by their origin in a particular part of the world. People are identified by the color of their skin, and the inequalities people experience follow directly from that identification. From this identification we have a social situation called racism. Racism is the belief that racial groups are inherently inferior to others.

This situation has become a common experience for some and it justifies discrimination and inequality. Lauter (pg. 23) The race, ethnicity and quality of life for many people is a serious situation that needs to be addressed by society. We as a civilized society need to address the problems that so many people face. One of the very serious problems is wage disparity across gender, race and ethnicity. A study examines intergroup inequality and considering various channels through which gender, growth, and development interact it upholds the salience not only of equality in opportunities but also equality in outcomes. The matter of gender, race and ethnicity should not be a factor when people are trained and educated to do a job. Rodgers & Seguino) A comprehensive profile of the ‘working poor’ is presented using data from the 2003 Population Survey.

The explanatory variables are the worker’s occupation and the firm’s characteristics. The cost constraints comprising, on the one hand, the worker’s family characteristics (notably family income), and, on the other, the costs to the worker of signals used by firms in making employment decisions. These include not only the cost of education but also what we call ‘discriminatory signals’, e. g. gender, race, ethnicity and citizenship status. Gleicher & Stevans) The ideology that equal opportunity provides equal pay is false. There has been a glass ceiling for women, they do the same work as men but their pay and advancement is less. They experience discrimination with less training, promotions and hiring. (Lauter & Lauter) (pg 192) Each society has ideologies that justify stratification. It is up to our society and educators to teach people that each gender is capable of doing the same jobs if they are physically and mentally able plus have that desire. Due to this attitude women have not been advanced in the work place.

They have been kept from monetary advancement and promotion. When businessmen speak eloquently about the “social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system”, they believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned “merely” with profit but also with promoting desirable “social” ends; that business has a “social conscience” and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers. In fact they are preaching pure and unadulterated socialism concepts.

Businessmen who talk this way are sometimes considered puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades. (Friedman) The examination of the cultural and linguistic production of gender and of gender relations in society has had a serious impact on the study of labor history over the past twenty years. Work on the role of gender has linked culture and ideas to politics and policies and has shown how ideas about masculinity and femininity shaped notions of the wage, skills, and work, as well as labor and employer practices, union strategies, and labor struggles.

The working class has not disappeared, but its contours and composition have changed dramatically. It is no longer overwhelmingly white, male, and heterosexual; it is female, black, and brown: its members’ sexuality is not always already defined. It is by incorporating into our work the intersections of these differences that we can create more powerful analytical tools for understanding the past and perhaps also the present. (Frader) In 1963, President John F. Kennedy, signed “The Equal Pay Act”. This bill was aimed at abolishing the wage disparity based on gender.

This law was written to stop sex discrimination, paying employees of the opposite sex more money for doing equally the same job for equal work that the performance requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions. This bill was to give equal opportunity in the workplace. When signing this bill, John F. Kennedy said, “Adds to our laws another structure basic to democracy” and “affirms our determination that when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelope. “

Through the years America displayed a terrible attitude towards people of all races, foreign cultures and nationalities. I have seen many actions in the work place that I can look back on and realize there was discrimination. I am happy to say that I have seen change. In my last three jobs, I witnessed the equal and civil treatment of my fellow employees. At the Unitarian church everyone was treated very fairly, not just the consideration of their race and gender, but also for their religious beliefs. The Unitarian Church has a very interesting concept.

Most people that are Unitarians are not born to the religion, they are people that convert from other formal religions. Because of this situation, people need to express their beliefs and the Unitarian Church allows its members to share and experience each event. Every holiday was celebrated with pride and true enjoyment. They extended their programs to have social events detailing each ethnic and religious background. We celebrated Christmas, Hahnack and Kwanza. We were given information explaining each religion, how it originated, the beliefs and the ceremony.

We also were given samples of the different foods served for these religious holidays. It gave us a feeling of unity and understanding which broaden our knowledge, social graces and respect for others. The most important part of this work environment was everyone was treated equally. The positions held, from office managers, secretaries, ministers, maintenance and grounds were held both by men and women. You were not judged based on gender or race, if you met the job qualifications you were interviewed and if you had the qualifications you were hired.

I left the Unitarian Church with a heavy heart. I knew I would never meet such a wonderful, caring group of workers and volunteers in any future workplace. This was a unique experience which taught me more than my work requirements, it taught me about people. When I moved to Colorado, I worked for Level (3). This was a true corporate atmosphere, everything was done through emails and written communications. We were divided into teams with a team captain and every employee was treated with respect and graded on their true ability. Here too, people were hired on their qualifications.

Gender and race were not part of the hiring program. There were male and female engineers, project managers, technical support and even cable layers. My position ended when the Dot. com crash caused a huge layoff. My last position was in a small office, my employer was very respectful of each of us and we were all treated with respect and gratitude. The atmosphere was very different in that when there are only a few people, you become more involved on a personal level. I found the small office to be an okay experience, however, I think I would enjoy the atmosphere where there are more employees.

The smaller office does not offer the opportunity for advancement and each person has their job and you become stagnant. The job market has changed in many areas in the past 15 years. I see more women and more diversity in the ethnic background of the employees being hired. There will always be room for improvement and change. A major change has been that more women have college degrees and they have excelled in showing stamina and strength. The term “glass ceiling” refers to the imaginary career barrier that impede’s a women’s ability to rise to the top rank of her profession.

Today there really isn’t a “glass ceiling” because women are well represented in all professions. They are doctors, lawyers, judges, TV anchor women, journalist and women appointed to political positions. It is evident that anyone can attain the position of their choosing. It takes education, perseverance and determination. I am sure that there is still a negative attitude by some towards women and different ethnic groups. I think it will take a long time to see a complete change, and probably there will never be a complete change.

We have many people that are raised and indoctrinated, whether it is from their nationality, up- bringing or religious beliefs that women only belong in the home. Some parts of the world, like the middle east, there is a cultural and religious belief that dictates the life of women. These changes for these women might take a 100 years to change. Living here in the U. S we have a broader view of how everyone should be treated. Because some people will never change, as women we have to keep moving in the right direction, looking for the right opportunity and seize the moment.

My own life is a testament to the belief that a women belongs in the home raising the children and keeping the house. After a marriage of 30 years and divorce, I found myself in a very difficult position. Financially I was not prepared to take care of myself and I was frightened beyond comprehension. I also had my mother living with me, she had Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). I realized that I had to take charge of my life and at 50, I made some serious decisions. Eventually I found a job with Level (3) and went back to school for my degree.

With all my determination and perseverance I showed I was capable of taking responsibility and I was advanced within six months of hire. I believe there is opportunity and in today’s job world, women and people of different ethnic background can advance in life.