Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden
Chapter 11: Theories of vertical segregation in feminized occupations: rethinking dominant perspectives and making use of Bourdieu
Feminized occupations such as nursing, teaching, social work and librarianship are gendered because they are numerically dominated by women and aligned with femininity. They are also gendered because men have long secured a disproportionate number of the senior and powerful positions within the upper echelons of these fields. This chapter is concerned with this second process – vertical segregation. Vertical segregation is a widespread social problem that exists in all economies and across diverse occupations and is a particularly vexing feature of feminized occupations. As Anker (1997, p. 136) identifies, occupational segregation is problematic because excluding parts of the population from workforce positions is a waste of human resources and it indicates that the labour market is inflexible and so unable to adapt efficiently to change.
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