Unequal egalitarians: a preliminary study of discourses concerning gender and employment opportunities

Wetherell, Margaret; Stiven, Hilda and Potter, Jonathan (1987). Unequal egalitarians: a preliminary study of discourses concerning gender and employment opportunities. British Journal of Social Psychology, 26 pp. 59–71.

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...

Abstract

A set of accounts concerning final year university students’ views on the status of employment opportunities for women is examined to identify some of the practical ideologies surrounding the reproduction of gender inequalities. The focus of the analysis is the structure of the discourse produced and what is revealed about wider systems of making sense. This approach is contrasted with conventional survey research. We argue, first, that our sample’s responses represent a conflict between their endorsement of equal opportunities and their emphasis on practical considerations supposedly limiting those opportunities and, second, that their model of human subject in society is individualistic in nature as are their notions of social change and explanations for existing inequalities.

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