In her Ridgeway raised the issue of how gender inequality persists in the contemporary society where a lot of effort is aligned to fighting against it. The author also considered how gender inequality is rewritten into new forms of social organization. She established her arguments using everyday interactions showing how gender conflicts are conceived in everyday interactions. The author provides evidence explaining the importance of gender category for coordination interactions in a society.
Ridgway develops her thesis stating that gender inequality is maintained in American society and changes its forms with its development. Her insights are useful for understanding of how gender inequality persists. She stated that coordination of social interactions can be attained through accepting of gender equality principles by all members of a society.
In the first three chapters Ridgeway provided a discussion of how pre-existing inequality is developed offering an in-depth analysis of gender inequality origins. She appeals to pre-existing inequality as a “tipping factor” derived from previous gender inequality stating that in this case status construction theory does not explain the process of converting neutral categories into categories of inequality. Obviously, these categories were not neutral long before goal-oriented tasks emerged. Defending her opinion, the author briefly discussed social theories explaining gender inequality. At the same time, she stated that the origins of gender dominance and submission remained unknown.
The argument flow in the next two chapters is quicker since Ridgeway applies to the concepts developed in the previous chapters describing social relations in the working environment and at home. By choosing working and home environment for analysis the author showed how gender construction is reinforced. She also paid much attention to analysis of difference in opportunities to access power and material resources for males and females.
An interesting finding provided by Ridgeway is that the structure of working places presumes gender inequality regarding occupations even if gender is not considered when, for example, employers create job standards. Candidates are expected to possess stereotypically male traits that are represented as “ideal”.
Evidence is supported by appropriate conclusions stating that there are certain changes towards equality of genders. She ascertained that work became friendlier to family and men are more involved in caretaking making the evidence that inequality is gradually overcame.
According to Ridgeway (2011) at home gender is salient while institutionalized behavior is reinforced by gender segregation in the working environment. She explains traditional roles of men and women in the family showing how moral expectations influence labor division in the households. She also explained how division of the household roles develops stereotypes and gives the right to decision making.
The final argument of Ridgeway is represented in the last chapter where she explained how gender inequality persists despite changes in economic and political spheres. Ridgeway (2011) stated that the lack of change in the family structure “pushes back against gender change in the public sphere” (159). The book provided an excellent description of social relations and the way gender inequality persevere throughout the economic and social transformations.
Ridgeway, C.L. (2011). Framed by gender: how gender inequality persists in the modern world. New York: Oxford University Press.