An Analysis of Gender Roles and Social Relations

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BRENDAN JONES 100771790 SOCI 2150A Introduction to Social Psychology Professor George Pollard Due: December 5th, 2012 Female Actors in Society: Time to Change Jobs? An Analysis of Gender Roles and Social Relations Female Actors in Society: Time to Change Jobs? The study of gender bias in sociology is imperative, as the implications of the findings can translate into nearly every other major discipline. The Cocktail Waitress (1975) provides a unique view of western culture, in contrast to most similar studies, which are often carried out in exotic societies. The Cocktail Waitress is a research project undertaken to better understand the division of roles, which gender and gender stereotypes heavily influence. As Spradley and Mann (1975) point out, the customs and mores of every culture result in feminine and masculine roles being created; furthermore, even when changes occur in these gender roles, the labels of masculinity and femininity won’t disappear, but simply change, creating new guidelines and expectations for an individual. If this theory of gendered roles is valid, than all aspects of Western culture are not only affected but perhaps even dictated by these roles. As an example outside of sociology, we frequently see polarization in voting trends and media coverage of political campaigns where females are running (Heldman, 2005) (Atkeson, 2008); as well, often in these campaigns, the female candidates will be the one’s specifying their personal traits and even self-handicapping themselves at times (Hendrix and Hirt, 2009). If the presence of the handicap rule is found to be prominent in Brady’s Bar, than the possibility of correlation between how we treat gender at the most basic level (a part time waitress job at Brady’s) and the effects of females with a higher status, may become evident. The particular situation that will be examined
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