Book

Framed by Gender

Cecilia L. Ridgeway

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199755776
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894925 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755776.001.0001
Framed by Gender

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How does gender inequality persist in an advanced industrial society like the United States, where legal, political, institutional, and economic processes work against it? This book draws on empirical evidence from sociology, psychology, and organizational studies to argue that people's everyday use of gender as a primary cultural tool for organizing social relations with others creates processes that rewrite gender inequality into new forms of social and economic organization as these forms emerge in society. Widely shared gender stereotypes act as a “common knowledge” cultural frame that people use to initiate the process of making sense of one another in order to coordinate their interaction. Gender stereotypes change more slowly than material arrangements between men and women. As a result of this cultural lag, at sites of social innovation, people implicitly draw on trailing stereotypes of gender difference and inequality to help organize the new activities, procedures, and forms of organization that they create, in effect reinventing gender inequality for a new era. Chapters 1 through 3 explain how gender acts as a primary frame and how gender stereotypes shape interpersonal behavior and judgments in contextually varying ways. Chapters 4 and 5 show how these effects in the workplace and the home reproduce contemporary structures of gender inequality. Chapters 6 examines the cultural lag of gender stereotypes and shows how they create gender inequality at sites of innovation in work (high-tech start-ups) and intimate relations (college hook-ups). Chapter 7 develops the implications of this persistence dynamic for progress toward gender equality.

Keywords: gender inequality; gender stereotypes; cultural frame; interaction; cultural lag; interpersonal behavior; organizations; social relations; workplace; home

Book.  248 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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Table of Contents

The Puzzle Of Persistence in Framed by Gender

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Gendering At Work in Framed by Gender

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Gender At Home in Framed by Gender

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Implications For Change in Framed by Gender

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