Social differentiations and gendered organization

At this point, I would like to briefly discuss two other studies that have already been carried out to show how the different social categories are situationally generated and correlated. A slightly older study was based on the assumption that race / ethnicity, class, and gender were interrelated. This assumption is also followed by the concept of “Doing Difference”. Ed Collom conducted a study at the beginning of the 1990s to get an insight into the structure of social inequalities in the US. To do so, he evaluated national surveys. On the basis of this, he came to the conclusion that ethnicity and gender influence the formation of class segregations and ethnicity is the main factor of segregation (Collom 1998, p. 1). Another study was conducted by Julie Bettie. They were examining mexican and white high school students from the California working class (Bettie 2000). The study then came to the conclusion that ethnicity and gender obscure class affiliation in social interactions. Finally, it should be emphasized that, as a result of the two studies, no general statements can be made as to how social differentiations interfere.

Finally, it could be said, that social and economic inequality is created in organizations and in the activities of working. The organization studies have shown that gender stereotypes affect the organizing processes and that gendered expectations also influence the opportunities for men and women.  This could be shown in my previous study, indeed that the children were playing social role games, like father, mother and child. So, we have the idea of a professional role of “normal workers” and we connect, for instance, household work and taking care of children with women, and paid work and professional ambitions with men. However, it is necessary to examine the discourses of gender and it is important to focusing the relationship between social interaction and societal structures. Afterwards, I wanted to mention that gender differences are built in into organizational structures and there were no gender neutral-structures.

It is important to note that a systematization of the interferences between different social differentiations is not possible, since the relevance of the individual social differentiations varies according to the context, time, place and, above all, the respective actors. This is a major problem, but at the same time it is a future task to deal with this problem or, if possible, to solve it through the empiricism. Fenstermaker and West assume the Omnirelevance of the “Doing Difference”. I believe that, at this point, with regard to Hirschau’s thesis “undoing gender”, the interesting question is also whether there is the possibility to operate “undoing difference” by distinguishing between the mere allocation of the subdimensions and the relevance of these dimensions within social interactions. This could lead to a future question to be investigated. Finally, I would like to point out that for an empirical assessment of the interference, as many subdimensions as possible should be taken into account, such as age and nationality. It should be noted that, probably in the future, the many possible interferences between the subdimensions will represent a theoretical as well as empirical challenge of sociology.


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