Gendered Career Inequality (1000-Present)Implications for Women and Society in Past and Future

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Linda CHRISTIANSEN-RUFFMAN, Saint Mary's University, Canada
This paper explores the long-standing and intransigent problem of gender inequality and careers, using a macro-feminist and holistic analytic strategy. It builds on diverse women’s and social movement research and mainly on a decade-long team project, coordinated by Immanuel Wallerstein (2015) on polarization trends of the World System from 1500 to the present. With responsibility on that project for the women and gendered structures domain, my early data from1500 led to requests for an earlier starting date. Eventually 1000 provided historical and comparative understandings about Women’s Space and an historically-created Patriarchal System. Analytic help came from strong, diverse methodological training at Columbia University (accuracy, healthy skepticism, triangulation) and feminist grounded theory principles (theoretic sampling, comparative method) applied to macro level analysis while remaining grounded by data of specific actions and relationships within time/space processes.

The paper for this presentation begins with brief descriptions of women’s careers in both the church and secular realms of Europe around 1000 in comparison to men. It then briefly analyzes career inequality over time in two occupations. That analysis draws attention to an often un-noticed historical event – the establishment of institutions of higher education that totally exclude women. I briefly point to early and contemporary ramifications and consequences. This example of the patriarchal embedding of women’s exclusion into new and growing institutions of higher education enables us to better understand the historical persistence of continuing career inequalities and other unintended consequences. For example, the social relational deficit resulting from the lack of women intellectuals, scientists, public thinkers and leaders over centuries and the exclusion of a women’s standpoint from scholarship and knowledge production has become more widespread but still often unnoticed in this new millennium, despite developing social, environmental and equalitarian democratic ideals. My conclusion suggests alternative likely future scenarios and methodological lessons