Ambition and Accommodation: How Women View Gender Relations
By: Roberta S. Sigel (author)Paperback
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What do ordinary men and women really think about issues of gender equality and gender roles? Combining data from both telephone surveys and in-depth focus groups, Ambition and Accommodation paints a fascinating portrait of the strategies used by men and women to cope with the discrepancies between their espoused principles and the realities of everyday life. By juxtaposing the voices of women and men from all walks of life, Sigel finds that women's perceptions of gender relations are complex and often contradictory. Although most women see gender discrimination pervading nearly all social interactions - private as well as public - they do not invariably feel that they personally have been its victims. The vast majority share much of the feminist agenda: they favor pay equity, equal access to jobs, and social anti economic policies designed to improve women's lives. Coupled with these attitudes, however, is a decided lack of concern with gaining access to power or seeking fundamental changes in social institutions, least of all in the family. Most women feel they have more in common with the men to whom they are closest than with women as a group. This perspective, according to Sigel, helps explain not only their desire to avoid open conflict with men, but also their willingness to accommodate a less-than-egalitarian situation by taking on a second shift at home or by working harder than a man on the job. Ultimately, the women in Sigel's study can be best characterized as neither rebellious nor passive but, instead, essentially pragmatic and considerably ambivalent as they strive for more equitable treatment.
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- ID: 9780226756967
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