Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Perception of Occupational Gender-Typing: Contrasting French from Maghrebi Origin's and French from European Origin's Viewpoints

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Perception of Occupational Gender-Typing: Contrasting French from Maghrebi Origin's and French from European Origin's Viewpoints

Article excerpt

Abstract

The differences in occupational gender-typing between French students of Maghrebi origin, French students of European origin, and French older adults of European origin were examined. The students of Maghrebi origin demonstrated a higher level of occupational gender-typing than the students of European origin or the older adults but the difference in gender-typing was not considerable and the linear association between mean ratings was impressive. In addition, the students of Maghrebi origin demonstrated an equivalent level of occupational gender-typing than the one found just ten years ago among French students of European origin. These results are consistent with previous findings showing that integrationism and individualism were the preferred acculturation orientations among persons of Maghrebi origin living in France.

Keywords: occupational gender-typing, Maghreb, acculturation, sex stereotype

1. Introduction

Perception of occupational gender-typing is an important topic because, among other things, occupational choice, occupational selection, and career promotion are heavily affected by that kind of representation (Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2004; Kreimer, 2004). Shinar (1975) provided the first data regarding the perceptions by students of occupations as feminine, gender neutral, or masculine. She presented American college students with job titles and asked them to indicate the location of each of it along a 7-point gender scale. The mean rating was 3.16; it was distant from the neutral value (4) and closer to the masculine pole of the scale (1) than to the feminine pole (7). Among the jobs considered at that time as most masculine, one can, unsurprisingly, quote miner, highway maintenance worker, heavy equipment operator, U. S. supreme court justice, building contractor, construction worker, mining engineer, railroad conductor, boat captain, and auto mechanics. Among the (few) jobs considered at that time as most feminine, one can quote manicurist, registered nurse, receptionist, and private secretary. The standard deviation of the ratings was 1.36, showing considerable variation among mean ratings. The mean absolute value of the deviation from the neutral point of the response scale (4) was 1.36; that is, the mean degree to which each job title has been considered as masculine or feminine was of more than one point (46% of the half-length of the scale). Few differences, however, were found between the mean ratings of women and men.

Shinar's study was replicated in 1993 by Beggs and Doolittle (1993). The mean rating found in this second study was 3.41; that is; closer to the center of the scale, indicating that ratings were possibly less gender-typed in 1993 than in 1975. Also, the standard deviation of the ratings was lower, 1.19, and the absolute value of the deviation from the neutral point of the response scale was lower 1.15 (38% of the half-length of the scale). The conclusion of the authors was that occupational gender-typing was still present but to a lesser degree. Despite the fact that mean ratings were more gender neutral, linear correlation between both rating sets was very high: .96. It might be said that, from 1975 to 1993, gender-typing perceptions among American college students has conserved the same structure but has been neutralized.

Shinar's study was replicated by Muñoz Sastre, Fouquereau, Igier, Salvatore and Mullet (2000) on European samples composed of Spanish and French students who were interviewed in 1994-1995. Although Spanish and French mean ratings were closer to the gender neutral value than U. S. mean ratings, there was still a substantial difference (more than half a point) between the general mean rating observed in the two samples (3.45) and the neutral value (4.0). Standard deviations seen in the European sample were lower than those already found in the American samples, and the mean absolute value of the deviations from the neutral point of the response scale was also lower: 0. …

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