Does Political Ideology Hinder Insights on Gender and Labor Markets?

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Arbetsmarknad, Charlotta Stern, Ideologi, Ojämlikhet, Rättvisa, Sociologi


Sociology is a field where a large majority of professors lean left. The left-leaning ideology is visible in studies of gender differences in labor markets. In such studies, a left-feminist ideology of equality is taken to be self-evident. Defining equality to equate to slim-outcome difference, however, pre-destines all differences to be seen as outcomes of culturally defined social constructions and discrimination. In this chapter it is hypothesized that this has produced tabooed topics in the field. One such taboo is the acknowledging of differences between men and women. Such differences challenge the left-feminism’s notion of equality in terms of slim-outcome-difference. Research on evolution and preferences is downplayed in favor of cultural explanations. Cultural explanations interpret differences between men and women in labor market behavior as constructed, as largely driven by gender stereotypes and discrimination. The notion that differences can stem from biology or from the choices made by individuals pursuing a lifestyle different than those prescribed by gender researchers is seldom entertained. I hypothesize that the situation stems from gender sociology being dominated by left-feminist ideology.
Related content: Working paper No. 275

Stern, C. (2017). Does Political Ideology Hinder Insights on Gender and Labor Markets? In J. T. Crawford, & L. Jussim (Eds.), The Politics of Social Psychology(pp. 44-61). New York, NY: Psychology Press, Routledge.

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Ratio Working Paper No. 337 Wage Setting as a Discovery Process
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Stern, C.
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Ratio Working Paper


Local wage setting is when companies in their collective agreements with unions formulate local rules for determining wage increase criteria, in contrast to central wage setting where the industry agreement specify the rules for all companies covered. HR-managers should promote local wage practices more than they currently do. I identify reasons behind HR-managers (and unions) skepticism towards local wage practices and go on to argue that in the end a local wage practice will be better organizational-practice because it will develop organization specific knowledge and this will promote discovery and develop organizational integrity. Hence, HR-managers should embrace local wage practices because it is good for the organization, although it means more work and higher demands on the managers themselves. The social outcome of local wage practices is that firm-specific explorations in HR-management schemes is HR-intrapreneurship which in combination with competition is likely to foster inter-organizational learning and stronger firms.

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