Gender, Power, and Communication in Human Relationships

By Pamela J. Kalbfleisch; Michael J. Cody | Go to book overview

Chapter 13
Men and Women in the Market Place

Michael J. Cody1 University of Southern California

John Seiter Utah State University

Yvette Montagne-Miller California State University, San Diego

Contributions to this volume detail discrepancies in power and credibility between men and women in a number of important areas. One area that has witnessed little change over the decades deals with the assignment of tasks involving shopping and related "domestic" or "family" chores. The task of shopping for the vast majority of goods, such as food, clothing, and gifts (Christmas, birthday, anniversary, etc.) is assigned to women. Further, it appears that it may take quite some time to change expectations concerning who, and how, basic daily tasks are assigned to, and completed by, males and females.

Our analysis of how people shop for clothing reveals that (even in the 1990s) males approach the activity as a "task" or "chore" to be completed as quickly as possible, giving less thought to their purchases than do women. When compared to women, men are less likely to shop for clothing, spend more money in less time, and are more compliant when influenced by salesclerks. Oddly, these results contradict the "traditional" view of women as more easily influenced than men. Indeed, our central thesis is that neither sex is generally, or universally, more easily influenced than the other, once we take into consideration individuals' goals, plans that are developed for achieving those goals, available resources, and beliefs regarding men, women, and the world in general. To illustrate, we will first overview the literature and history of research on gender differences in persuasion.

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1
Inquiries regarding additional information on this chapter should be directed to Michael J. Cody.

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