Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and the Hollywood Reporter Top 100 Television Shows Across Three Time Periods

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Looking specifically at the gendered positions (squares), the first two analyses show that comedy is more highly correlated with all gendered roles. In the third picture, the gendered positions are no longer concentrated around comedy but are dispersed more evenly between comedy and drama.

If we look at the movement of drama specifically across the three analyses, we see it moves closer to the center and then crosses the dotted line in the third picture to be opposite of comedy. This suggests that drama has become equally significant as comedy over these three time periods. We can see the decline of comedy across the three periods as well. In the first picture, comedy is located well above the dotted line. In the second picture, it has dropped significantly and moved to the right before resting just above the dotted line in the third picture. If we look at other genres located near comedy, we see that these genres become less associated with comedy and more often are associated with dramas by period 3. Romance is the one genre associated with comedy that stays relatively stable between period 2 and 3, and it also happens to be where women are located in positions closer than men.

To me, these multiple correspondence analyses illustrate how drama has become a legitimate television genre from 1951-2013. This is most easily seen by focusing on the male and female producers. In period 1, male producers are much closer to comedy than female producers who are located approximately an equal distance from comedy and drama. Period 2, we see male producers move closer to drama than female producers albeit not by much. Female producers are located closer than men to romance, fantasy, and action during this time. By period 3, male producers have moved to a position where they are closest to all genres except comedy (which has been in decline) and romance.

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and Television Shows from 1981 – 2000

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Television Genres, Gendered Roles, and Shows from 1981 - 2000

Quality television from 1981 – 2000 still centered around comedy albeit drama had begun to gain influence during this time period which is evident from the shorter distance to other locations in the field. Family moved away from comedy somewhat. Men were more likely to produce the quality dramas as the distance is shorter to drama than for women. Action and fantasy were the two genres located most on the fringes. Comedies in general hire more writers while dramas hire more actors.

Feminizing Occupations

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The fundamental reason for women’s disproportionate entry into the occupations we studied was a shortage of male workers (Kindle Locations 4144-4145).

Women receive better career opportunities when men are no longer available or simply do not want particular jobs. Only when employers are desperate for employees do they seem to realize that women can do jobs just as well as men. Occupations that do begin welcoming women at a greater rate generate a demand for women workers.

Fostering desegregation in a few of our occupations was the emergence of a sex-specific demand for women. Four phenomena produced such a demand: antidiscrimination regulations and litigation that raised the potential cost of giving men preference; the growth within an occupation of tasks already labeled as women’s work; the growth of a female clientele; and economic exigencies that spurred employers to take advantage of women’s lower labor price (Kindle Locations 4156-4158).

So employees begin to hire women when hiring men puts them at risk of violating laws and/or being sure. Women are hired at greater rates when there is a greater demand to complete tasks that are typically performed by women. Higher rates occur when there is an increase in female clients. This means that all women can impact hiring practices indirectly through concerted consumption. Lastly, women are hired more often when employers need to cut costs.

Despite the prevailing wisdom that liberalized attitudes have opened male jobs to women, we could document an effect only in bartending, where women’s exclusion had been reinforced by public fears that tending bar would corrupt them. In the other feminizing occupations we studied, changing attitudes tudes were unimportant compared with labor shortages or economic pressures (Kindle Locations 4174-4176).

I imagine today a lot of people would say they have no problem with a woman doing any particular job.  Saying that and women actually getting the chance to the jobs are two different things.  Generally,  our attitudes regarding the employment of women have little weight on employer decisions. However,  instead of attempting to influence employers,  the focus should be on legislatures to whom employers must listen .

But men failed to resist women’s entry into many feminizing occupations because the latter were no longer worth preserving as male territory. Here, as elsewhere (Hartmann et al., 1986:60), most of women’s increased numbers in feminizing occupations did not result from their taking jobs away from men (Kindle Locations 4178-4180).

Rarely are women hired in place of men.  More often,  women fill jobs that have abandoned by men who have sought more benefits,  higher wages, and more autonomy.

Women’s increasing share of the labor force and the pools from which employers recruit workers (such as M.B.A.’s) contributed to their movement into some male occupations, but unless circumstances impelled employers to hire women, the increased supply of women would not have been sufficient to feminize these male occupations (Kindle Locations 4180-4182).

More women entering the pools making up potential employees certainly has helped women in some occupations. They are still ignored a lot of times by employers, and their numbers have never threatened to feminize occupations where men make up the majority by a large percentage.

Within desegregating occupations female and male workers were concentrated in different jobs (Kindle Location 4194).

These nominally desegregating occupations remained internally segregated gated for the same reasons that the labor force as a whole has done so: white men’s favored position ensures them the most desirable and most highly rewarded warded jobs and allows most of them to dodge less attractive jobs for which women must settle. This pattern occurs within as well as across occupations (Kindle Locations 4201-4203).

Even when occupations appear to be moving towards gender balance, men and women are still not working the same jobs.

Works cited

 Creating Gender Queues

I’m completing my thesis at the University of Mississippi concerning the relationship between gender, genre, and television production. I see no harm in sharing while helping to get my thoughts together.

Barbara Reskin describes how men dominate coveted labor markets at the expense of women. Labor markets become gender queues where women are held back in five ways.

First, sex labels that characterize jobs as “women’s” or “men’s” work influence day-to-day hiring and job assignments by affecting employers’ notions of appropriate and inappropriate workers for particular jobs. The force of custom tends to blind employers to economically irrational decisions, at least until external events galvanize them to change (Kindle Locations 508-510).

One issue facing women is the weight of history where they have been undervalued relative to men. We are not damned to repeat that history,  but generally speaking we will if there are not laws created to force change. Because women have been kept out of many professions until fairly recently, they are untraditional employees which means employers usually will not go that route unless they set out to do so.

Second, employers’ difficulty in identifying productive workers leads them to resort to proxies such as educational attainment, experience, and group membership (Kindle Locations 510-511).

Because employers have a difficult time spotting job candidates who will do well, they tend to rely on shortcuts that discount women. Proxies hurt anyone who do not have an ideal job history (like myself) with periods of unemployment. But each proxy tends to hurt women at a greater rate than men as women are less likely to be given the opportunities that men receive.

Third, some employers worry that male workers’ negative response to female interlopers will reduce productivity or raise labor costs by increasing turnover, or lead men to demand higher wages to compensate them for working with women (Kindle Locations 514-515).

Men are sensitive about their masculinity.  Any threats to the gender composition in a field that could change how it is perceived within society is met with resistance by men. They will go on strike or leave the job if it seems beneath them.

Fourth, some employers are not compelled to minimize wages. The level of competition they face and the share of all costs that wages constitute affect their incentive to find ways to cut wages (Kindle Locations 521-522).

The primary advantage women have in labor markets is that they cost less to employ.  When labor costs are trivial, women job candidates have less of a chance in being hired.

Finally, some employers willingly accept higher wages as the price for favoring men (Kindle Location 527).

To employers, hiring men at higher wages is better than paying less for women to do the job as it protects the job from having its status depreciate, and it legitimizes male dominance elsewhere throughout society. Employers seem willing to pay more to lessen their doubt even though that doubt is based on sexist assumptions regarding the quality of work performed by women.

Works cited