CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

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Knowledge Work and Gender Roles

IN ANY WORK THAT requires skill or confers status, men’s jobs and women’s jobs have been distinct and separate throughout all but the last few decades of history, in all cultures and civilizations. The belief that women’s jobs and women’s social status were always inferior to men’s—practically an article of faith today—is a half-truth at best. Rather, men competed with men, women with women. In knowledge work today, however, men and women increasingly do the same jobs and are competing and working collegially in the same arena.

This is still an experiment—though practically all developed countries ...

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