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¢ Norms and beliefs about gender and work seem to be
longstanding, entrenched and difficult to change: in fact, they have changed
frequently and significantly throughout history in line with broader economic,
social and political transformations.

¢ In what concerns
gender and work (and many other social phenomena), history has NOT been a
steady progression towards modernisation and greater equality; i.e. it is not
linear. There have been advancements but also setbacks and backlashes,
according to what is economically and politically necessary at a particular

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¢ The categorisation of jobs as more or less skilled and
their evaluation as more or less valuable is gendered. (Acker, 1990; Simonton,

•       ‘The concrete value judgments that constitute
conventional job evaluation (…) replicate (…) structures of gender typing and
gender segregation of jobs and the clustering of women workers in the lowest
and the worst-paid jobs.’ (Acker, 1990: 150)

•       ‘Women’s skills’ are less valued, and women devalue
skill: wages in a male-dominated sector very often decrease when women enter it
in large numbers (Irving, 2008) à hence, trade unions have not always supported women

¢ Sexual harassment and discrimination only became visible and denaturali-sed
when it was named by workers, activists and scholars.

¢ Sexual harassment should be understood not as the individualised trait of
‘a few rotten apples’, but as part of the organisational culture: ‘in many
or-ganisations, the willingness to tolerate sexual harrassment is often a
com-dition of the job’. (Acker, 1990: 152)

¢ Addressing gender segregation and gender pay gaps in work has requi-
red legislative intervention, and this has generally come about as a re-
sult of protest, industrial action, and political mobilisation.


Many occupations presume and prescribe a particular
kind of gendered worker, and therefore doing that work requires doing
gender. Emo-tional labour is a particular clear example. (see also
concept of body work, Wolkowitz, 2006)

transition in Western societies from a Fordist to a Post-Fordist system of
economic production and the concomitant 

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