Fitzsimmons – Gender Stratification on the College Campus

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Updated: Aug 20, 2023
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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.

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The results of the analysis found that while women were at a significant disadvantage in regard 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 both sexes, and the ways in which it segregates men and women.

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, the expansion of women’s higher education, and its effect on society, among others. Jacobs’ goal was to examine and highlight only the highly debated gender inequality studies.

Jerry Jacobs is an American sociologist, currently working as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Jacobs is most known for his research on women and work. He 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 goal of Annual Reviews is to synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. Knowing this, a reader can deduce that Jacobs’ article was intended for both scholars and the general public alike.

Jerry Jacobs’ work can be compared to the work of Emily Kane. Both Kane and Jacobs draw attention to the theme of gender inequality and the reproduction of inequality through higher education. After scrutinizing students’ post-collegiate goals before and during college, it appears that college is perhaps not the “great equalizer” many perceive 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 attempting to solve said inequality. The education system in America attempts to reproduce and replicate 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.

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 how higher education reproduces gender inequality. Kane’s research sheds light on my broadened 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 who has published work in The Boston Globe, Globe and Mail, National Post, and Village Voice. In 2003, Murphy earned a Pulitzer Prize for her work on news coverage associated with the Eagle Tribune. Her article, “Why Gender Inequality in Higher Ed Is Still a Problem,” was published on Bentley University’s website, with the intent of reaching the Bentley student body to elicit change within traditional business schools.

Like Simon and Winslow, Murphy’s work highlights the recurring theme of the lack of female representation in higher education. Investigating this lack of representation as role models on Endicott’s campus will provide interesting insights into students’ perceptions of females place in traditionally male-dominated majors.

Caroline Simon calls attention to inequality in higher education with respect to both female representation and a pay gap. Simon argues that higher education presents itself as an equalizer for genders, yet it contradicts itself by showcasing a lack of female representation in higher authority positions. In addition to the representation issue, there is a wage gap between male and female employees. This lack of female representation and equality within higher education administration reinforces the idea that women are somehow inferior to men. The actions of higher education administration directly influence the ideology of students, reinforcing gender inequality.

Simon, an intern for USA Today, published this article in the same news source. She is a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Through her article, “There’s a Double Gender Gap in Higher Education — and Here’s Why,” she aims to educate society on the ongoing battle for gender equality in higher education. Simon’s work increases my curiosity about how administrative staff members in higher education reinforce gender inequality norms among their students.

Findings from Simon’s work are similar to those of Meg Murphy 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 higher education in America furthers social inequalities and the class hierarchy. According to her, higher education differentiates students through educational capital, promoting those from privileged backgrounds to seek out educational advantages, while not encouraging those from less privileged backgrounds to do the same. The higher education system in America promotes unequal development through selectivity and its connection to socio-economic status. Thus, in Tsui’s view, higher education operates as a form of social reproduction.

Tsui calls upon previously published research and literature to curate her argument. Tsui’s synthesis of research and literature has 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 about 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 in observing how the idea of educational capital plays a role in male-dominated majors. It will be interesting to observe and analyze male privilege with regard to educational capital and the different strategies males seek out compared to females to further their education.

Sarah Winslow analyzes administrative faculty differences with 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 with regard 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 on 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 affects the student population and their interpretation of gender equality or inequality on the Endicott College campus.

Evidence Strategy

As I have altered my research question somewhat from my original idea, I am not completely decided on the research methods I wish to implement. I acknowledge that predominantly male majors exist mainly within the LSB, so I plan on conducting most of my research there. I am interested in utilizing a combination of both observational data and survey data. I would be interested in attending classes where the student body is primarily male, to observe the interactions between the professors, male students, and female students. I believe that the combination of both observation and survey data will provide me with 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