Feminism & Social Capital

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By Sharon White

Social capital comprises both cultural and economic backgrounds of society and, thus it inevitably influences gender rights.

Social capital is also heavily influenced by gender, and this too has implications as women are more likely to be promoted to levels where women are already present. This is due in some part to the ‘sex-typing’ of jobs, but is also connected to same-sex alliances; it may be that what is thought of as a glass ceiling is actually a glass door, which can only be opened by women if other women have opened it previously. The social and cultural capital combine to form a ‘gendered habitus’ or predisposition which structure men and women’s decisions, behaviour and opportunities. Yet, as gender is an asymmetrical category so society prioritises the masculine over the feminine habitus; effecting also those who adopt feminine behaviour, such as gay men, who are accordingly treated as less than ‘real men’.

This symbolic hierarchy has material effects, women are placed in an economically vulnerable position; concentrated in low status, low pay, part-time employment, women and their children constitute the most economically disadvantaged group across the globe. Lovell argues that women have different opportunities to resist or submit to gender domination according to their social class position. The experience of being a woman, though felt differently across the classes, is still removed from that of men. Further, whilst the details of the gendered division of labour may differ cross-culturally, all cultures appear to use gender to structure society in some way. Thus ‘gendered’ cultural capital cuts across all social groupings and classes; it is a prerequisite for all other forms of capital. As the gender capital of men and women is asymmetrically opposed, men find that they are more able to transfer their gender capital into the other forms of capital; social, embodied, institutional and ultimately economic.

Sharon White has many years of a vast experience in Essay Writing and custom essays writing consulting. Get free samples of essays and courseworks and buy essays at masterpapers.com.