Access: New York Times
Summary: When we first meet someone, the process of getting to know them usually entails finding out their occupation. We seek this information because occupations are an integral part of our identities. Furthermore, our worker self cannot easily be separated from our gender identity, as many jobs (and therefore the people that do them) are considered masculine or feminine—with the latter often denoted by the term “pink collar.” For example in the movie "Meet the Parents," when the protagonist Gaylord Focker is introduced to his future in-laws, they repeatedly undermine his masculine identity because he works in nursing, a “pink collar” and female-dominated occupation (see a short clip from the movie here). However, according to this New York Times investigation, changes in the economy are altering our culture. In our shift to a postindustrial economy, traditionally masculine blue-collar jobs are disappearing; thus many men are choosing to enter fields that were previously dominated by women. This clip is useful for instructors who seek to explore the articulation between gender and work, and how economic changes to the labor market are provoking cultural understandings pertaining to gender.
Submitted By: Jason T. Eastman