Doing Gender In The Workplace

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The aim of this research article is to differentiate the ways gender is done in the workplace between a traditional, family restaurant setting and one of standardised corporate setting. While the use of gender is looked favourably upon in the traditional workplace, it also serves as a way towards conformity in that setting. However, the article argues that in a more routine and standardised setting of the corporate chain restaurant, gender is discouraged in the workplace and can be used as a method of resistance to social conformity. The article maintains that the constructions of gender are a result of widespread social behaviour and human interactions, rather than of an innate personal nature. These broad gender roles and expressions of masculinity and femininity has been carried over huge periods of time and remains relatively unchanged, and individuals would generally follow these roles to make themselves a better fit into the workplace, and society as a whole. Certain types of workplace is better complimented by gender expressions than others, an insurance position favours more ‘manly’ presentation while a waitress spot may favour a more feminine approach. In some workplaces a specific gender can even perform and review better due to the presentation of the ‘self’ and hence differ in how they are perceived, ‘For example, it has been found that woman nurses were better received and considered to be doing a better job by patients than their men colleagues (Hartman et al. 1988)’ (page 732). In a waitress/serving staff setting, the waitress often adjusts her presented gender so that it conforms to the social expectations of the profession. Physical appearance plays a major part in this presentation, and past studies has established that more attractive waitresses have an easier time finding work placement, and earned more tips than their less attractive

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