Framed by Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in the Modern World

Paperback | February 25, 2011

byCecilia L. Ridgeway

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In an advanced industrial society like the contemporary U.S., where an array of legal, political, institutional, and economic processes work against gender inequality, how does this inequality persist? Are there general social processes through which gender as a principle of social inequalitymanages to rewrite itself into new forms of social and economic organization? Framed by Gender claims there are, highlighting a powerful contemporary persistence in people's everyday use of gender as a primary cultural tool for organizing social relations with others. Cecilia Ridgeway asserts that widely shared cultural beliefs about gender act as a "common knowledge" framethat people use to make sense of one another in order to coordinate their interaction. The use of gender as an initial framing device spreads gendered meanings, including assumptions about inequality embedded in those meanings, beyond contexts associated with sex and reproduction to all spheres ofsocial life that are carried out through social relationships. These common knowledge cultural beliefs about gender change more slowly than do material arrangements between men and women, even though these beliefs do respond eventually. As a result of this cultural lag, at sites of innovation wherepeople develop new forms of economic activity or new types of social organization, they confront their new, uncertain circumstances with gender beliefs that are more traditional than those circumstances. They implicitly draw on the too convenient cultural frame of gender to help organize their newways of doing things. As they do so, they reinscribe trailing cultural assumptions about gender difference and gender inequality into the new activities, procedures, and forms of organization that they create, in effect, reinventing gender inequality for a new era. Ridgeway argues that thispersistence dynamic does not make equality unattainable but does mean that progress is likely to be uneven and depend on the continued, concerted efforts of people. Thus, a powerful and original take on the troubling endurance of gender inequality, Framed by Gender makes clear that the path towardsequality will not be a long, steady march, but a constant and uneven struggle.

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In an advanced industrial society like the contemporary U.S., where an array of legal, political, institutional, and economic processes work against gender inequality, how does this inequality persist? Are there general social processes through which gender as a principle of social inequalitymanages to rewrite itself into new forms of ...

Cecilia L. Ridgeway is the Lucie Stern Professor of Social Sciences in the Sociology Department at Stanford University. She is the recipient of the Jesse Bernard Award for distinguished career contributions to the study of gender, awarded by the American Sociological Association; the Distinguished Feminist Lecturer Award, given by Soc...

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Gender, Interaction, and Inequality
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Framed by Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in the Modern World
Framed by Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in the...

Kobo ebook|Feb 9 2011

$13.89 online$17.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:February 25, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199755787

ISBN - 13:9780199755783

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. The puzzle of persistence2. A primary frame for organizing social relations3. Cultural beliefs and the gendering of social relations4. Gendering at work5. Gender at home6. The persistence of inequality7. Implications for changeReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In lucid prose, Cecilia Ridgeway describes the social psychological processes that continually reproduce gender inequality. Marshalling research from sociology and psychology, Framed by Gender explains why women have not attained equality and what would be required to reach that goal." --Alice H. Eagly, Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University