Politics Essay

In Julie Ann McMullin’s book “Age, Gender and Work”, McMullin examines how women and older workers are disproportionally represented in the IT labour force. In McMullin’s book, she writes that most of the IT firms that participates in the WANE study, have overwhelming numerical superiority by younger males. A large number of IT firms, have developed different forms of gender regimes and ageism inequalities, because of the overwhelming numerical superiority of younger male employees.

Masculinist gender regime is the regular, patterned gender arrangements. The Regime includes patterned discrepancies in rewards and privileges connected to gender. Masculinist gender regimes, dictate almost every aspect of workplace culture and workplace interaction in IT firms. The composition of young, white, educated males definitely creates a certain youthful and playful culture in an IT firm. In “Age, Gender and Work”, McMullin suggests that most IT firms have workplace cultures “geared towards male interests and activities. ” (McMullin 2012, 40).

In these male dominant firms, co-workers relate with each other informally and often share common practices, traditions, attitudes and values. The workplace culture, created by the predominant presence of younger men tends to have an effect on how many women, if any, are employed in an IT firm. The women employed by these firms, are forced to adapt to the culture of the workplace, “Where individual women occupy key managerial or technical roles, they accommodated, rather than challenged, the dominant ethos, positioning themselves as “one of the boys. ” (McMullin 2012, 40).

The composition of predominantly younger males in IT firms, also contribute to ageism in the workplace. Younger male employees, often view older workers as incompetent, and not adaptable in regards to dealing with technology. Younger employees also believe that because they grew up with computers, knowledge about utilizing a computer comes more naturally to younger workers, than older workers, “I think definitely the IT industry is populated by younger people…when you grow up using computers, it’s only natural that you look for a job that uses computers. (5511110,man,mid-twenties, United states). Question 4) The social exclusion of different groups in Canada, can affect the health and well-being of the excluded group. Groups can be excluded legally by being “denied participation in civil affairs as a result of legal sanction or other institutional mechanisms. ” (Raphael 2012, 100). Another form of exclusion is the denial of social goods like education and healthcare. The third type of social exclusion is the exclusion from social production, which denies marginalized groups opportunities to participate in social activities.

Lastly, economic exclusion denies certain groups access to economic opportunities. These four types of social exclusion can lead to different health issues. If a member of a certain group cannot afford to pay medical bills and the government does not provide assistance, the health of that member will deteriorate overtime. If a member is also denied access to education and is from a poor background, then that person lacks the opportunity to ever elevate their social status, thus making it difficult to avoid health issues related to stress.

When new immigrants, who are part of a visible minority group, arrive in Canada, they commonly undergo financial difficulty because of the social structure, “New immigrants of colour- people who have recently arrived in Canada, show particularly pronounced increases in poverty. ” (Raphael 2012, 100). Income difficulty subjects new Canadians to unfavourable social environments. New residents are forced to live in unsafe neighbourhoods because of financial restrictions, “The pattern of increasing economic and racial concentration in Canadian urban areas is another cause for concern. (Raphael 2012,112). Living in unsafe communities can lead to health and mental illnesses, “In the United States, a concentration of economically disadvantaged radicalized groups has been associated with adverse health outcomes. ”(Raphael 2012, 112). According to Raphael’s health model, dependence on alcohol, drugs and other psychological addiction, is a direct result of social environments. New immigrants, who find themselves in these poor environments, are at greater risks of bad health. Work environment for new immigrants also contribute to health complications.

When new immigrants arrive in Canada, finding work in their related fields are often difficult. Despite having degrees from their home countries, the Canadian government often does not acknowledge these degrees, “physicians and nurses…not being able to practise their professions due to myriad regulations and procedures. ” (Raphael 2012, 100). Inability to find jobs in their respective fields force new immigrants to seek low paying employment. Often these low paying jobs have no benefits, and the work environment is poor. Poor working conditions, such as working in an asbestos factory, can cause health to deteriorate overtime.

With the government offering no support because of exclusion from social goods, new immigrants may not be able to afford treatment for the illnesses contracted in poor work environments. Work is a key component to the well-being of a person. Employment provides income, financial stability and a sense of identity. For most people, their jobs are part of who they are because of how long they have held that job. Health conditions can worsen when individuals lose their jobs. We saw in the film “Not just a paycheck”, that when the employees were laid off from their factory jobs, certain health issues started.

Some of the employees developed drinking problems as a way to deal with the stress of bills and uncertainty. Other employees became obese and developed cardio vascular disorders. These are also examples of psychological effects. Early childhood development also has an effect on one’s health. If a child is given great care from an early age, which includes receiving essential nutrients and minerals, the chance of future health risks will be smaller. “The experiences of early childhood can produce long lasting biological, psychological and social effects that determine health later in life. (Raphael 2012, 78). If a child is raised in an adverse environment, it is highly likely that the child will fall into a particular pathway in Raphael’s health model. “The experiences of early childhood set children off on particular trajectories that lead to later experiences that determine health. ” (Raphael 2012, 78). A child of a new immigrant, living in a poor neighbourhood, might not get the essential developmental resources that set that child on the right pathway in the health model. A new immigrant living in Canada faces a plethora of challenges.

Studies show that, the challenges faced by these new immigrants ultimately affect their health and well-being. New immigrants face social exclusion when they first arrive in Canada. The social exclusion that new immigrants have to deal with, contribute to what pathway effects they experience. Question 5) As a great equalizer, education provides people with opportunities for social mobility. Educational institutions are also viewed as a mechanism that contributes to social inequalities. The education system emphasizes and reproduces certain aspects of cultural capital.

Institutions require that students have a general knowledge of dominant culture. Institutions, such as Medical schools and Law schools, require students to conduct themselves in a way that fits the dominant population on campus. “An educational system, which puts into practice an implicit pedagogic action, requiring initial familiarity with the dominant culture, and which proceeds by imperceptible familiarization…that is condition for the success of the transmission and of the inculcation of the cultures. ” (Bourdieu and Passeron 1977:494). Students that attend post-secondary, usually come from upper class families.

The graph, showing the relationship between post-secondary participation and parental income, was released by statistics Canada. The graph shows that the highest percentage of post-secondary enrollment occurs when parents earn a six figure salary. Education systems, makes certain hierarchies appear as existing by merit, skills and gifts. For example, certain students get internships with reputable companies while still in university. Although some students attain such opportunities based on their academic merit, some get such opportunities because of who they know.

Education also reinforces pre-existing social inequalities through fraternities and sororities. Certain fraternities and sororities contain people of similar cultural status. Fraternities, made up of upper class students, tend to keep membership closed to the working class, which results in opportunity hoarding. Involvement in such groups, can lead to an increase in human capital, cultivation of cultural resources, and these clubs help student develop ties that can help in the “hiring process, occupational outcomes and later earnings. ” (Stuber 2012, 62).

Educational institutions further reinforce pre-existing social norms through tuition. Students from upper class families can afford to go to school and not have to work to pay tuition. This financial security enables the upper class students to engage in activities that build their resume and make them more attractive future employees. “Upper middle class students were more involved in groups and activities that theoretically were directed at the student body as a whole: student government, event programing and campus-wide philanthropic events. ( Stuber 2012, 67). Education has also been accredited with increasing social mobility. Education gives opportunities for working class students to acquire human capital, which can be turned into economic capital. Educational institutions function according to meritocratic principles, so all students that work hard, have equal opportunities to be successful in life, irrespective of their social background. I believe that education certainly reinforces pre-existing social inequalities.

Educational institutions do not provide a fair opportunity for all their students. Tuition costs and the periodic increments of tuition costs, hoards the opportunity of post-secondary education for those who can afford to attend. Although scholarships and bursaries are awarded to high achieving academic students, not all students are fortunate enough to earn a scholarship. I also believe that the education system further promotes social inequalities, by assuming all students are aware of dominant cultural practices.

Not all students truly understand the values of internships or extracurricular activities and not all students can afford to participate. If participating in internships and clubs makes one a more attractive employee, universities should invest more time in education and providing opportunities for students. Source:Sta1s1cs Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), 2006. Special data run for Canadian Council on Learning.