How women are held accountable for social ideas of femininity etc in the labor force


“FINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES (25 points, maximum) 7 This quarter has provided abundant information on women and work. We have discussed the relationship between family and work, in particular how the division of labor cuts across both social arenas. Using The Managed Hand and other course readings as your theoretical lens, discuss how women have been held accountable to social definitions of femininity, emotional labor, and/or body labor and the conditions under which these accountability systems vary by race-ethnicity, gender/sexuality, and class in two occupations of your choice. One of the occupations should be from an occupation discussed in class; the other can differ but then you will need to include research on that occupation.

• Systematically compare and contrast the work experiences of women workers in two worksites.   

• Begin by describing the key features of each occupation (what is the purpose of the occupation, does it offer benefits, mobility opportunities?), indicate the number of women in this occupation, their income, and whether or not this is a female-dominated occupation. You will need to use the BLS Data Book.

• Then, discuss how these occupations are structured, why women enter each occupation, key features of social relations at work, how they “do gender,” the gendered and race-ethnic organization of work, what type of emotional labor or body labor (or both) is expected and how ideal femininity is reaffirmed and/or remapped. Integrate the appropriate readings from our class as you analyze the two jobs about which you are writing. 

• Do not forget to discuss the types of opportunities for advancement that exist in these jobs and who appears to get them and what they are paid. 

• Ultimately, what does the organization of these particular jobs tell us about occupational inequality by gender, race, and/or class? 

• What do you believe the prospects are for women’s resistance and empowerment in these jobs? Depending on the occupation you select, you may need to find and draw on at least 1-2 articles outside of this class to ascertain opportunities for ‘resistance’ and ‘empowerment.’ 

The length of the paper should be between 6-8 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font. Please insert your name and page numbers on each page of the paper. 


(1) Introduction: By the end of the first paragraph, you must clearly identify the purpose of the paper. All of you are required to write: “the purpose of this paper is….” I do not want to guess and if you do NOT do this by the end of the first paragraph, you will be penalized in terms of points. Remember, your purpose is not simply to describe occupations or occupational change but to evaluate the explanatory power of the different views of occupational stratification and mobility we have discussed in class. Say you are interested in arguing that women of color and white women both encounter a “glass ceiling” but that the  8 barriers to mobility differ. You can indicate this as your interest but you must have a thesis statement which is also called a “statement of purpose” that specifies the “problem” you are going to analyze and what “theory or theories” you are going to use to examine the “problem.” You must identify in this paragraph which theory or theories are most insightful in giving us a better understanding of the “problem” you have identified and that your paper is going to show this. Typically, the statement of purpose, the discussion of the “problem” you are going to analyze, and identifying which theories and/or concepts you are going to use in your analysis takes a few sentences or a paragraph. After you have finished the introductory paragraph, you begin your analysis. In general, the introduction is about ½ page. 

(2) Narrative: Present your case. Present the relevant theoretical explanations for the “problem” you are going to analyze according to your thesis statement. In each paragraph of this review of the literature, you can discuss how it relates (or not) to each of the occupations you are analyzing. You can also indicate if the theories themselves have sparked some questions that you are now asking as you review your 2 selected occupations. Cite relevant sources for the data, theories, and examples from readings. This section should be about 3-4 pages but is often longer which is fine. 

(3) Conclusion: Bring it all together. This is a key part of the paper and should refer back to the Introduction. Tell me how you answered the original questions you posed and have dealt with your original purpose. This section should be about ½ to 1 page. 

(4) Bibliography: At the end of the paper, provide a bibliography that lists all of the references you cited. Use either the Chicago or APA style sheet. “

My plan was to write about women in modeling and teaching but am open to other ideas. Both these occupations were discussed in our class but we also discussed women in child care, nail salons, etc. 

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