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Transformation of Work

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Bachelor of Science (Hons) In Marketing BMME1 1142A Type of Assignment: Module: Lecturer: Member: UOB ID No. : Date of Submission: INDIVIDUAL TRANSFORMATION OF WORK (BAFW4) MR JOHN NEO BOON LEONG KAM YONG KUAT 10038891 27th JUNE 2012 Page 1 of 4 BMME1 1142A Transformation of Work (BAFW4), Individual Assignment, 27th June 2012 Kam Yong Kuat (UB: 10038891) A critical review of an academic article concerned with certain aspects of new issues of work Cross, S. and Bagilhole, B. (2002) Girls’ Jobs for the boys?

Men, Masculinity and NonTraditional Occupations. Gender, Work and Organization, Vol 9, No. 2 pp204-226 Introduction of Gender segregation of the labour market By nature, there has always been occupational segregation through gender in all countries. This is the case, despite the differences in economy or political situation in the different areas. Even though it has been a long while since women have participated in the working force, women and men still tend to work in different industries, for one reason or another.

Research conducted by Simon Cross and Barbara Bagilhole (2002) has shown that men dominated industries like drivers of road goods vehicles, production works, maintenance managers, warehouse and storekeepers, technical and wholesale representatives. And on the other end of the spectrum, only two occupational groups are wholl y female dominance (more than 90%); nurses and care assistants. Other female dominated industries including counter clerks, cashiers, catering assistants, primary and nursery school teachers and cleaners or domestic helpers.

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Unfortunately, gender segregation operates both horizontally and vertically in the working force. Not only are men and women allocated qualitatively in different field or work, women happened to make up the vast majority of the lower levels of the occupational hierarchy. Taking example from the nursing industry in the US, men makes up only the clear minority, yet, most are strongly encouraged to apply for promotions into managerial positions.

William (1992) has highlighted on a very interesting metaphor of the ‘glass ceiling’ to that of ‘glass escalator’ in order to reflect the men’s smooth and inexorable rise to senior management. Many theories have been put forward to explain the persistence of gender divisions in employment, and it has mainly focused on women’s inability to compete on equal terms to men in the labour market. (Cross and Bagilhole, 2002) Men, masculinity and ‘non-traditional work’

According to research conducted by Hearn (1992), masculinity has been found to be far from uniform and it is seen not as ‘the essence of men’, but rather as a product of cultural and historical forces. There have been other theories that highlight that man who worked in nontraditional occupations tended to present a less masculine gender-type compared with men in traditional male-dominant occupations (Chusmir, 1990). Judging from the entertainment and media scene in Singapore, it seems to further prove what Chusmir (1990) has argued. 0% of make-up artist, hairstylist and fashion designers tend to portray a more feminine persona, moving away from the traditional male masculinity. Some have even been regarded as a ‘fairy godmother’ (David Gan – Asiaone News, 2010). It may be due to the fact that clienteles from these industries are mainly female, thus the feminine persona, and eventually, homosexuality. But these also further clarify the point that Collinson and Hearn (1996) made, that masculinities are ‘socially produced, reproduced and indeed changeable’.

There are also arguments that suggests men adopted a ‘transformed’ masculinity in nontraditional occupations such as teaching (Galbraith 1992) and men who reject stereotyped gender roles, and who performed non-traditional work, reported little or no gender role conflict (Luhaorg and Zivian, 1995) Page 2 of 4 BMME1 1142A Transformation of Work (BAFW4), Individual Assignment, 27th June 2012 Kam Yong Kuat (UB: 10038891) Cross and Bagihole (2002) however maintain that masculinity is the shorthand for ‘gender identity’.

And therefore, through this study of the various subjects, it looked at ways in which masculinities are defined, ‘transformed’, (re)constructed, and maintained by men working in non-traditional jobs. Findings of the study of masculinity in non-traditional work One of the subject interviewed mention that ‘caring is seen as a predominantly female job because people see carers as being female, and aspects of caring like being empathic and sensitive to people’s needs are seen as something that men can’t do’.

This has initiated the subject to challenge traditional ideas of appropriate gender behaviour in the work of a caring job. Another participant also highlighted the need to challenge the traditional culture of getting involved in the caring scene, even though he has been introduced to traditional masculine values since young, through the doings of his father and brother. He would be deemed as different from being a ‘real men’ if he would to pursue in caring work.

One younger participant also noted that he have received adverse reactions when he mentioned to girls he met during a party, that he was a male nurse. He has to resort to lying about his occupation as women were not interested if he’s a nurse. The vast majority of women will start to question his sexual orientation or start to share their problems with him. These are just a few of the challenges that the participants have shared with regard to their sexuality and masculine identity. Nonetheless, the participants also have their fair share of attempts in challenging the challenges.

A male gynaecologist who was also part of the study highlighted that he often felt otherwise when he observed his female counterparts treating fellow female patients, and thought it was a bit shoddy. And because of that, he strives to ensure that he handles his patients with more tact and effort to ensure that his patients felt comfortable. This has gone down with well with his patients and he has been duly recognised for the efforts. One of the other participants, a male nurse, views his work as a lifelong career, something that he will be doing for the rest of his life.

With this attitude and approach, he tend to take the job more seriously and look to strive better than his female counterparts, whom many a times, enters the industry, viewing it just as a second job or something to do until something better comes along. (Re)constructing a different masculinity There are also the few that look to (re)construct a different masculinity, by identifying with their work as being better indications of their true self (Cross and Bagilhole, 2002). The participants see their job as something that genuinely brings out their true nature as a caring person.

One of the male nurse involved in the study commented that he used not be able to express his emotions in public, due to the stereotypical views of the general public. But after joining the nursing industry, it has helped him to better express himself in a more liberating manner. He now has no problem sharing his emotions with people around him. This could also be the reason why based on recent reports, it has shown that more male nurses have been reported to enter the industry (More male nurse entering the industry – Asiaone, Page 3 of 4 BMME1 1142A

Transformation of Work (BAFW4), Individual Assignment, 27th June 2012 Kam Yong Kuat (UB: 10038891) 2010). It could also be largely due to that fact that people have grown to understand and empathise that the work one does, is not a direct reflection of your sexual orientation or personality. Conclusion Based on the studies of the various subjects, Simon and Bagilhole (2002) was able to establish that the males either attempted to maintain a traditional masculinity by distancing themselves from female colleagues, and/or partially (re)constructed a different masculinity by identifying with their non-traditional occupations.

The men involved in the study have also shown to be actively maintaining traditional male values, and not challenging their gender identity. When challenged about their masculinity, some of the subjects have maintained themselves as the dominant gender by reformulating the perception of their work as being more men’s work, for example, by denying that a care-taker’s job involves caring only. It has a certain element of planning and management involved that will make the male dominance stands out. Just as how Segal (1999) argued, ‘men have remained the dominant sex by constantly refashioning masculinity’.

Through this study, it is apparent that men have been able to successfully maintain their traditional advantages even in female-dominated workplaces. Even in female-dominated workplaces such as nursing, it does not naturally set the change or biasness in the women’s favour. The men’s behaviour and practices contributes to their dominance in the industry. WORKS CITED Feminine Males within Entertainment Industry Yoshio; http://www. whatshappening. sg/events/index. php? com=detail&eID=51825 David Gan; http://news. asiaone. com/News/The%2BNew%2BPaper/Story/A1Story20101110 -246661. tml More male nurses entering the industry http://www. asiaone. com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20100712-226496. html Cross, S. and Bagilhole, B. (2002) Girls’ Jobs for the boys? Men, Masculinity and Non -Traditional Occupations. Gender, Work and Organization, Vol 9, No. 2 pp204-226 Chusmir, L. H. (1990) Men who make non-traditional career choices. Journal of Counselling and Development, 69 (September-October), 11-16 Galbraith, M. (1992) Understanding career choices of men in elementary education. ‘Journal of Educational Research. 85,4 (March-April), 246-53 Hearn, J. 1992) Men in the Public Eye; The Construction and Deconstruction of Public Men and Public Patriarchies. London: Routledge Luhaorg, L. and Zivian, M. T. (1995) Gender role conflict: the interaction of gender, gender role, and occupation . Sex Roles, 33,9/10, 607-20 Segal, L. (1999) Why Feminism? Cambridge: Polity Press Williams, C. L. (1992) The glass escalator: hidden advantages for men in the ‘female’ professions. Social Problems 39,3, 253-67 Page 4 of 4 BMME1 1142A Transformation of Work (BAFW4), Individual Assignment, 27th June 2012 Kam Yong Kuat (UB: 10038891)

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