Gendering occupations: Persistence and resistance of gender presumptions about members of particular healthcare professions

Ekberg, Katie & Ekberg, Stuart (2017) Gendering occupations: Persistence and resistance of gender presumptions about members of particular healthcare professions. Gender and Language, 11(1).

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Abstract

In spite of increasing gender diversity in employment roles, presumptions persist about the gender of people employed in particular occupations. Focusing on healthcare data collected in Australia and the United Kingdom within the past decade, we use Conversation Analysis (CA) to identify how presumptions about gender are displayed within social interaction through the use of gender-specific pronouns. We show how gender-specific pronouns are asymmetrically selected on the basis of a referent’s occupations, with gender-unspecified members of traditionally male occupations (e.g. doctors) referred to with masculine pronouns and gender-unspecified members of traditionally female occupations (e.g. nurses) referred to with feminine pronouns. We also explore ways people avoid making such presumptions. Our analysis therefore reveals a state of flux in contemporary social life, with instances in which gender presumptions persist as well as attempts to employ person references that reflect contemporary social dynamics.

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ID Code: 84371
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Conversation Analysis (CA), gender presumptions, person reference, categorisation, healthcare interactions
DOI: 10.1558/genl.24082
ISSN: 1747-633X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Gender Specific Studies (169901)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Gender Psychology (170105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Discourse and Pragmatics (200403)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Equinox Publishing
Deposited On: 21 May 2015 01:42
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2017 01:19

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