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Women's Social Standing

Palgrave Macmillan

Women's Social Standing Overview

What is social class? Do we all have one? Such questions are usually asked about men. If women are considered at all it is usually as an appendage to one of the men in their lives. It would be astonishing if (female) social scientists did not complain. They do. The ensuing debates are fun but of no use to those who need to analyze data. This book instead focuses on the methodological issue of the appropriate form of a social classification. In Part I, the authors describe the genesis of the Registrar-General's occupationally based classification--and in particular its application to women--arguing that it is not obviously appropriate in the current context. In Part II, they set out the technical criteria which ought to be met by any index, and further argue that a social classification should have a specific domain of reference. On this basis, in Part III, they compare the discrimination provided by the occupationally based classifications with that provided by the women's own height with surprising results. The book concludes with an examination of the implications of the argument for those concerned in collecting and analyzing empirical data and for the theoretical debate about social class.

Women's Social Standing Table Of Content

List of Tables
1 Introduction 1
1.1 The Relevance of Debates about Class 2
1.2 Conventional Treatments of Women in the Class Debate 3
1.3 The Structure of the Book 5
Pt. I The Genesis of the Current Social Classification of Women
2 The Registrar-General's Social Class Scheme: The Stevenson Version 10
2.1 Introduction 10
2.2 Origins of the Social Class Scheme According to Stevenson 11
2.3 The Ideological Context of a Social Classification: Szreter 17
2.4 Justifying the Classification 20
2.5 Concluding Remarks 22
3 The Registrar-General's Social Class Scheme: The Last Half-Century 25
3.1 Modifications 1931-71 25
3.2 Classification based on Employment Statistics 25
3.3 The Proposed Standard Occupational Classification 30
3.4 A Resume: Is Stevenson's Social Class Scheme Relevant Today? 31
4 Women in the Social Class Scheme 33
4.1 Introduction 33
4.2 The Origins of the Method of Treatment of Women in the Social Class Scheme 33
4.3 The Mixed Basis for Assigning Women to a Social Class Classification under the SCS 36
4.4 What if Women Counted? 40
5 Do Women Marry Socially? 44
5.1 Marital Social Class 44
5.2 The Wee Laddie Next Door? 46
Pt. II Constructing a Social Classification for Women
Prologue 54
6 Classification Using HORG and the Alternative 56
6.1 Technical Criteria for an Index 56
6.2 The Options 61
6.3 Height, Fertility and Infant Mortality 64
7 Measuring Female Life Chances: The Variables and the Data 67
7.1 What Kind of Outcome Measures are Appropriate? 67
7.2 Measuring the Good Life 69
7.3 The Data Available 70
7.4 Variables and Data for Quality of Life Indicators 71
7.5 The Empirical Comparison of Discrimination 73
8 The Distribution of Female Life Chances 75
8.1 Introduction 75
8.2 Contemporary Data on Health 76
8.3 Learning 80
8.4 Material Possessions 82
8.5 Lifestyle 83
8.6 Relating 86
8.7 Prognosis 88
8.8 Historical Data on Health 89
8.9 Historical Data on Lifestyle 93
8.10 Historical Data on Relating 93
8.11 Historical Data on Prognosis 95
8.12 Conclusion 96
Pt. III What Role Does Height Play!
Prologue 100
9 A Tall Story 101
10 The Role of Height 108
10.1 Height as an Indicator of Development 108
10.2 Height and Adult Health (Behaviour) 109
10.3 Height and Social Inequalities 113
10.4 Height: An Environmental or Genetic Variable? 115
11 Implications 117
11.1 The Registrar-General's Class Scheme 118
11.2 Justifications of the use of the Social Class Scheme for Women 119
11.3 Other Possible Schema 121
11.4 Desiderata for a Classification 124
11.5 A Tall Story 126
11.6 Implications for Theory and Empirical Research 127
11.7 Describing and Explaining Inequalities 130
References 132
Name Index 137
Subject index 139

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