Gender inequality in the construction industry: Lessons from Pierre Bourdieu

Sang, K. and Powell, A. (2012) Gender inequality in the construction industry: Lessons from Pierre Bourdieu. In: 28th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3 Sep 2012 → 5 Sep 2012, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
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Despite a range of equality legislation and initiatives, the construction industry remains one of the most male dominated sectors. Women are under-represented in all construction occupations and professions. Much of the current literature describes the difficulties experienced by women who work in this sector including cultural and structural barriers, such as harassment and discrimination, limited networking opportunities and long and inflexible working hours which often result in poor career prospects and high levels of stress for women. This paper proposes that Bourdieu's theoretical framework can be used to explain the continuing homogeneity of the construction industry professions. Bringing together qualitative interview findings from several research projects with construction industry students and professionals, this paper argues that Bourdieu's thinking tools of symbolic violence and misrecognition can be used to understand women's persistent inequality in the construction industry. The findings problematise existing policy recommendations that argue women have different skills that can be brought to the sector (such as cooperation). Such policies reinforce the gendered nature of the construction sector's habitus and fail to recognise how the underlying structures and practices of the sector reproduce gendered working practices.

Additional Information:cited By 6
Divisions:College of Social Science
ID Code:39984
Deposited On:27 Jan 2020 15:26

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