Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Occupational segregation refers to the unequal distribution of positions in the labor force. It is historically associated with exclusionary practices that excluded women from men's jobs and people of color from whites' jobs, and with practices that relegated white women and racial ethnic groups to jobs subordinate, if not subservient, to white men. Indeed, occupations associated with women and/or racial and ethnic minorities are generally associated with lower social rewards than positions held by white men, as indicated by measures of prestige, autonomy, income, and other benefits. For example, the feminization of an occupation describes changes in the gender composition correlated with lessening the value and prestige of that occupation. As women enter a predominantly male occupation, the work becomes more closely supervised and deskilled and relatively less rewarded, as documented with the change from male to female predominance in public education and clerical work. Scholars have documented trends A ...