Ambition & Accommodation

Ambition & Accommodation

How Women View Gender Relations

Book - 1996
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What do ordinary citizens really think about issues of gender equality and gender roles? Combining data from both telephone surveys and in-depth focus groups, Ambition and Accommodation provides the most detailed portrait to date of how Americans, in particular American women, think they are faring in today's society.

By juxtaposing the voices of women and men from all walks of life, Sigel finds that women's perceptions of gender relations are complex and often contradictory. Although most women see gender discrimination pervading nearly all social interactions—private as well as public—they do not invariably feel that they personally have been its victims. They want to see discrimination ended, but believe that men do not necessarily share this goal. Women are torn, according to Sigel, between the desire to improve their positions relative to men and the desire to avoid open conflict with them. Their desire not to jeopardize their relations with men, Sigel holds, helps explain women's willingness to accommodate a less-than-egalitarian situation by, for example, taking on the second shift at home or by working harder than men on the job. Sigel concludes that, although men and women agree on the principle of gender equality, definitions as well as practice differ by gender.

This complex picture of how women, while not always content with the status quo, have chosen to accommodate to the world they must face every day is certain to provoke considerable debate.


Blackwell North Amer
What do ordinary men and women really think about issues of gender equality and gender roles? Combining data from both telephone surveys and in-depth focus groups, Ambition and Accommodation paints a fascinating portrait of the strategies used by men and women to cope with the discrepancies between their espoused principles and the realities of everyday life.
By juxtaposing the voices of women and men from all walks of life, Sigel finds that women's perceptions of gender relations are complex and often contradictory. Although most women see gender discrimination pervading nearly all social interactions - private as well as public - they do not invariably feel that they personally have been its victims. The vast majority share much of the feminist agenda: they favor pay equity, equal access to jobs, and social anti economic policies designed to improve women's lives. Coupled with these attitudes, however, is a decided lack of concern with gaining access to power or seeking fundamental changes in social institutions, least of all in the family. Most women feel they have more in common with the men to whom they are closest than with women as a group. This perspective, according to Sigel, helps explain not only their desire to avoid open conflict with men, but also their willingness to accommodate a less-than-egalitarian situation by taking on a second shift at home or by working harder than a man on the job. Ultimately, the women in Sigel's study can be best characterized as neither rebellious nor passive but, instead, essentially pragmatic and considerably ambivalent as they strive for more equitable treatment.

Univ of Chicago Div of the
What do ordinary citizens really think about issues of gender equality and gender roles? Combining data from both telephone surveys and in-depth focus groups, Ambition and Accommodation provides the most detailed portrait to date of how Americans, in particular American women, think they are faring in today's society.

By juxtaposing the voices of women and men from all walks of life, Sigel finds that women's perceptions of gender relations are complex and often contradictory. Although most women see gender discrimination pervading nearly all social interactions--private as well as public--they do not invariably feel that they personally have been its victims. They want to see discrimination ended, but believe that men do not necessarily share this goal. Women are torn, according to Sigel, between the desire to improve their positions relative to men and the desire to avoid open conflict with them. Their desire not to jeopardize their relations with men, Sigel holds, helps explain women's willingness to accommodate a less-than-egalitarian situation by, for example, taking on the second shift at home or by working harder than men on the job. Sigel concludes that, although men and women agree on the principle of gender equality, definitions as well as practice differ by gender.

This complex picture of how women, while not always content with the status quo, have chosen to accommodate to the world they must face every day is certain to provoke considerable debate.




Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c1996
ISBN: 9780226756950
0226756955
9780226756967
0226756963
Characteristics: x, 240 p. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Ambition and accommodation

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