Sociological Theories in Perspective

Sociological Theories in Perspective




Sociological Theories in Perspective

The excerpt provided explores the issue of gender equity and equality. More specifically, it tackles the subject of women in academia and the challenges they face while trying to scale their career heights. From the text, it is revealed that women tend to face more hostility and resistance in academia and other careers as compared to their male counterparts. Various reasons have been provided in the text. However, the two major reasons for this are the glass ceiling and the maternal wall. These two are concepts that affect women in their careers, and are great obstacles in their advancement. However, the main difference between the two is that the maternal wall largely affects women with children, while the glass ceiling affects all women. Evidently, the situation is worse for a woman who has children, since the pressure is doubled. Throughout the text, the reader is able to understand the subject matter while using various sociological perspectives. Among the major sociological theories that can be applied in this text are the feminist theory and the social conflict theory.

Studies reveal that having a child who is less than 6 years old reduces the chances of a woman form getting tenure in her career. The results indicate that only 53% of the women get the tenure, as compare to 77% of the men, who also have children less than 6 years old. Further research also reveals that married men stand higher chances of excelling in their careers as compared to their female counterparts. Evidently, women appear to face more barriers in academia and other careers due to various factors. Further, in the text, various are provided as to why women are being shortchanged. Most women tend to think that all women are equal and see them as sisters. However, this is not the case. According to the feminist theory, which seeks to explain gender inequality, the older women in academia who paved way for the rest tend to be skeptical about the new entrants (Sempruch, 2008). Therefore, they tend to face these hurdles, not because they are women, but because others paid the price of foregoing motherhood and pursuing their careers.

The social conflict theory can be used to explain the text because it largely focuses on the differences in the society as the source of conflict. Emile Durkheim asserts that the social classes in the society cause friction, which results into conflict. For many years, women have been sidelined by the men, as they are considered weak. Therefore, the problems women encounter as they attempt to advance in their careers are largely influenced by the social conflict that exists between them and the men. The best example to illustrate this is the glass ceiling theory at the workplace. It is becoming increasingly difficult for women to get certain job roles because of their gender, which is deeply rooted in the society. The social conflict theory best explains this sobering trend in academia. However, other reasons such as the women opting out of their careers willingly have been cited as the catalysts to this trend.

Compared to other readings previously reviewed, this reading provides more insights into various sociological perspectives. These help the student to explain various events or happenings in the society using the theories. The topic being discussed, which are about women and their challenges in academia brings into light the feminist theory, a concept that had not been tackled in the previous readings. Therefore, is important to continue reviewing various readings in order to gain broader perspectives on sociological phenomenon. Additionally, the previous readings failed to incorporate theories when explaining various issues in the society. However, in this particular excerpt, the reader is able to use both the feminist theory and the social conflict theory to explain why woken are lagging behind in their career lives, as compared to men.

The reading material reviewed is rich in information that can be use to trigger further discussions in various sociological topics. This is because it touches on a subject that is prone to heated debates. Feminists are the most involved in this topic especially because it focuses on gender inequality, which is the main tenet in feminist theory. The reading definitely brings out various questions that scholars would like to see studied. An example of an issue that should be explored or debated upon is whether men would like to see their female counterparts rise in the career ranks, or whether it would be a situation hat breeds contempt and animosity. Another question would be whether men would agree to an experiment on reversing gender roles. This kind of experiment would reveal the true nature of the effects of reversal of gender roles. This question would also help the students gain broader perspectives on issues regarding gender equality and roles as would be revealed by the results of the study. The reading material was quite helpful, which will serve as a source for future sociological debates, and helps build the student’s argumentative skills, as well as conceptualization of sociological phenomenon in real life situations.



Sempruch, J. (2008). Fantasies of gender and the witch in feminist theory and literature. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press.

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