Fitzsimmons – Gender Stratification on the College Campus

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Updated: Jun 07, 2021
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Fitzsimmons – Gender Stratification on the College Campus essay

Research Question

How do male and female students in traditionally male-dominated majors view their academic capital both in and out of the classroom and their post-collegiate goals? Does the faculty at Endicott College reinforce an equal platform for both male and female students?

Annotated Bibliography

Jerry Jacobs discusses gender and its relationship with higher education. Jacobs found that gender inequality in higher education is more dominant in certain parts of the educational system than others. Jacobs’ argument distinguishes three categories; access to higher education, college experiences, and post-collegiate outcomes. The results of the analysis found that while women were at a significant disadvantage in regards to post-collegiate outcomes, women’s access to higher education was strong. Moving forward, gender inequality in higher education should be examined to identify the ways in which equality is provided for men and women and the ways in which it segregates men and women.

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Jacobs drew his conclusions based on a research-based literature analysis discussing gender inequality and its association with higher education. Jacobs focused on key questions; aspects of education that exhibit the most pronounced gender disparities, gender inequality’s role in the household and workplace, expansion of women’s higher education and its effect on society, etc. Jacobs goal was to examine and highlight only highly debated gender inequality studies.

Jerry Jacobs is an American sociologist, working as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Jacobs is most known for his research on women and work. Jacobs has served as the editor of the American Sociological Review and the president of the Eastern Sociological Society. Jacobs article, “Gender Inequality and Higher Education” was published by Annual Reviews. The Annual Reviews goal is to synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. Knowing this, a reader can deduce the Jacobs article was intended for both scholars and the general public alike.

Jerry Jacobs work can be compared to the work of Emily Kane. Kane and Jacobs both call attention to the theme of gender inequality and the reproduction of inequality through higher education. I think looking into students’ post-collegiate goals before entering college versus being in college could be interesting and indicative of how college is not the “great equalizer” many think it to be.

In her paper, Emily Kane examines multiple arguments concerning the role of education in shaping gender ideology. Kane concluded that education has a larger influence on the recognition of gender equality rather than trying to solve said inequality. The education system in America reproduces and replicates traditional ideals rather than challenging them and advocating for social change. Kane conducted research through a public opinion telephone survey using a sample size of 1,750 American adults.

[bookmark: _gjdgxs] Kane, a researcher, and professor at Bates College focuses on the inequality of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Kane’s research for her paper, “Education and Beliefs about Gender Inequality,” was funded by a grant from the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School Research Committee. As Kane’s paper was published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the paper was intended for scholars and fellow researchers.

The argument and research Kane conducted furthers the idea that Caroline Simon presented in, “There’s a Double Gender Gap in Higher Education — and Here’s Why.” Both Kane and Simon are interested in the way higher education reproduces gender inequality and how it does. Kane’s research brings to light the broadening of my research question into how administration reinforces gender inequality.

Meg Murphy in her examination of gender inequality in higher education focuses on women’s lack of representation within business schools and programs. Murphy calls attention to the fact that the percentage of women earning bachelor’s degrees at business schools as well as MBA degrees is on the decline. The business school curriculum lacks female representation as managers and leaders in their teachings. Murphy highlights the work of Patricia Flynn, a professor at Bentley University, who has partnered with the UN to further women’s representation in management education and leadership. The underrepresentation of gender equality in business schools needs to be a topic of discussion in order to facilitate change.

Murphy, a graduate of Columbia University, is a freelance writer having published work in the Boston Globe, Globe and Mail, National Post, and Village Voice. Murphy has earned a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her work on news coverage associated with the Eagle Tribune. Murphy’s article, “Why Gender Inequality in Higher Ed Is Still a Problem,” was published on Bentley University’s website with the intent of reaching the student body of Bentley to elicit change within traditional business schools.

Murphy’s work similar to that of both Simon and Winslow highlights the reoccurring theme of the lack of female representation in higher education. Investigating the lack of female representation as role models on Endicott’s campus will be interesting in analyzing student’s perception of a females place in traditionally male-dominated majors.

Caroline Simon calls attention to inequality in higher education regarding female representation as well as a pay gap. Simon argues that higher education represents itself as an equalizer for gender. Higher education is directly contradicting itself by showcasing a lack of female representation in higher authority. Not only is there a lack of female representation, but there is a wage gap between male and female employees. The lack of female representation and equality within admiration of higher education reinforces the idea that females are less than men and should be made smaller than their male counterparts. The actions of higher education administration directly influence the ideology of students, reinforcing gender inequality.

Simon works as an intern for USA today, the publication source of this article. Simon is a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Her aim through her article, “There’s a Double Gender Gap in Higher Education — and Here’s Why,” is to educate society on the battle for gender equality still being fought today in higher education. The work of Simon expands my curiosity of how the admirative staff members of higher education reinforce gender inequality norms on their students.

Simon’s findings are similar to that of Meg Murphys in her article, “Why Gender Inequality in Higher Ed Is Still a Problem.” Both Simon and Murphy call attention to the ongoing theme of the lack of female representation in higher education and its negative impact on the student body

Lisa Tsui in her writing argues that, in America, higher education works to further social inequalities and class hierarchy. Higher education in America works to differentiate students through educational capital. Tsui advocates that higher education promotes students that come from privileged backgrounds to seek out educational advantages, while those of less privileged backgrounds are encouraged to not seek out educational advantages. The higher education system in America further unequal development though selectivity and its connection to socioeconomic status. Higher education is a form of social reproduction.

Tsui calls upon previously published research and literature to curate her argument. Tsui’s synthesis of research and literature have allowed her to define the ongoing social issue of educational capital and how it functions in higher education. Lisa Tsui is an employee of the Urban Institute, a non-profit organization that is the trusted source for unbiased, authoritative insights that inform consequential choices about the well-being of people and places in the United States. Tsui’s article, originally published in the Journal of Negro Education, aims to educate society of racial indifferences still being fought in the United States today.

While the work of Tsui is not directly relatable to the other sources in this annotated bibliography, I am interested to observe how the idea of educational capital plays a roll in male-dominated majors. It will be interesting to observe and analyze male privilege in regards to educational capital and the different strategies males seek out compared to females to further their education.

Sarah Winslow analyzes administrative faculty differences in regard to time spent teaching and time spent researching. Specifically, Winslow was interested in the difference between men and women. Winslow found that women were more likely to spend time teaching, while men were more likely to spend their time researching. These gaps could not be explained by preference or institutional attributes. Women were found to have difficulty dividing their time in a manner in which they allocated for each given task. The findings of Winslow expand on how gender inequality is produced and maintained in higher education in regards to job satisfaction, productivity, and retention of female faculty members.

Winslow drew upon data from a 1999 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF.) The NSOPF is defined as, “a multiwave, cross-sectional, survey that has been administered four times to date: during the 1987-88, 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2003-04 academic years. The analyses presented here utilize the 1999 wave because it is the most recent wave with complete data on actual and preferred time allocations” (774). Winslow’s findings were published in Gender and Society Vol. 24, No. 6, a peer-reviewed journal, focusing on gender studies. Winslow’s findings are intended for a scholarly audience.

Winslow herself, an associate professor at Clemson University, has a Ph.D. in sociology. Winslow’s research and teachings have focused on gender, paid-labor, and family. Having multiple published works, Winslow sheds light upon gender-differentiation.

Similar to Simon and Murphy, Winslow highlights gender discrepancy in administrative staff in higher education. Winslow’s work calls attention to the workplace satisfaction of collegiate employees. It will be interesting to observe how the attitude of faculty affect the student population and their interpretation of gender equality and or inequality on the Endicott College campus.

Evidence Strategy

As I have altered my research question a bit from my original idea, I am not fully decided on the research methods I want to implement. I know that male-dominated majors primarily exist in the LSB, so I plan on conducting most of my research from there. I am interested in using a combination of both observed data as well as survey data. I would love to be able to sit in classes where the student population is dominated by males and observe the interactions between professors and male and female students. The combination of both observation and survey data, I believe, will give me an accurate representation of the gender culture on Endicott’s campus.

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Fitzsimmons - Gender Stratification on the College Campus. (2021, Jun 07). Retrieved from