Unit VI Scholarly Activity: Discrimination in Society
SOC 1010, Introduction to Sociology
Columbia Southern University
Unit VI Scholarly Activity: Discrimination in Society
Part A (Introducing the Topic)
In this essay I will be covering the topic of gender discrimination. Gender discrimination is prevalent in several locations in today’s society. These places include the home, work, in the media, and in our communities. Both men and women are affected by this type of discrimination but the majority of it is directed at the female gender and that will also be the focus I take today as well. The topic of gender discrimination is always considered a hot topic or at least a continuously discussed topic as it should be. I have personally seen gender inequality in my current job and will highlight a few of those instances throughout this paper. I will also touch on a few topics such as women’s representation in U.S. occupations, gender wage gaps, and gender inequality in the military.
In today’s society the prevalence of institutional discrimination has created lower representation of women in U.S. Occupations. All the major institutions in the United States to include the government, the armed forces, large corporations, the media, universities and the medical establishment are controlled by men, (Witt, 2016). As stated previously this issue has had a major effect in the medical fields. According to Newman (2014) in her article for Human Resources for Health, “Gender inequalities are systems inefficiencies that contribute to clogged health worker educational pipelines, recruitment bottlenecks, attrition, and worker maldistribution in formal and non-formal health workforces” (p. 2). These types of discrimination lend themselves to the gender wage gap.
The wage gap has and will continue to be an issue in America until it is taken seriously on a national scale. Americans as a society tend to say they value equal pay rights but statistically this can be proven as a false claim. To combat this issue the equal pay act was created. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires equal pay for men and women doing substantially equal work, as opposed to comparable worth, that is equal pay for men and women doing equal work for an employer, (Kennedy, Nagata, Mushenski, & Johnson, 2008). One element of the United States that has embraced and corrected the wage gap issue is the armed forces, they maintain the same pay for all genders and base their pay on rank structures instead.
The military has succeeded in some areas and failed in others. One area of needed improvement in the military is the gender inequality. I have personally seen this in the military multiple times. One instance I saw this issue occur was when there was a special duty position available within my organization. The leadership there had equally qualified members of both genders interview for the position and the male was hired specifically because the person conducting the interview (a man) preferred the position be filled by another male. I have also seen females in the military discriminate against other females due to dislike and stereotyping. These occurrences that I have witnessed have not been the norm for me but knowing that they are occurring in today’s era is disturbing. On both occasions I did what I thought was the correct thing and reported the outlandish acts but either my leadership did not take the reports seriously or were lenient in their punishment because the discriminators did not change their behaviors.
Part B (Appling Perspectives)
If I chose to look at the issues discussed above through an interactionist view I would say that women’s representation in U.S. occupations is impart due to the social constructs and gender norm roles that we have developed as a society. Over the years we have reinforced the idea that males should work certain jobs and females should operate in less masculine professions. I would say that the gender wage gap is impart due to the choices women make when it comes to the types of jobs they perform and this is also influenced by the idea that there are certain jobs that are more feminine. If I looked at these same to topics through a different perspective say the conflict view I would say that women’s representation in U.S. occupations is poor because the mass sexism in today’s work force. The idea behind this is that women are less capable to preform the same job as a man at the same level of performance therefore they should perform less masculine jobs. Continuing this train of thought and following up with the topic of the wage gap would be a simple explanation of women earn less because the level of work they complete is not at the same difficulty level.
Part C (Discussing Solutions)
Now is the time to look at these issues share how I think they can be solved. I believe these issues have improved over time and will continue to improve as long as they are continuously discussed and debated. I think that we as a society have got to start teaching our younger generation that issues such as women’s representation in U.S. occupations, gender wage gaps, and gender inequality in the military are part of our history and that by studying the past we can learn and improve the future. We need to let them know that we are all equal no matter our gender, race, or ethnicity. I for one have been teaching my daughters from a very young age that there are problems like these in today’s world but to not let these issues influence the people they will one day become. I continuously stress the fact that they can reach any goal they put their minds to and that the only glass ceiling that can stop them is the one that they put in place. I also discuss the importance of not attempting to limit another individual’s ability to succeed with them as well. Personally, I think these are the type of conversations we should be having with our youth. It inspires them to dream for the stars and helps the strive for greatness. It also keeps them aware that not everything in our society is as fair as it should be. Another way my wife and I teach our children that we are all equal is by working together at home and completing the same tasks as a team rather than dividing up or chores as his chores or her chores. I think this helps teach them that no matter the gender we can all do the same tasks. We are only one family but I also know several other families that have these same conversations with their children and the hope is that one day their generation will take over and improve where we have left off.