Why Do We Devalue Someone The Minute They Care For Others?

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In “Nurses, fathers, teachers, mothers. Why do we devalue someone the minute they care for others?” Lily Cunningham interviews a university professor who examines the importance of those in caregiving roles. Anne-Marie Slaughter is an author whose book entitled “Unfinished Business” discusses the issues surrounding working parents, particularly women. The book discussed provides an outlook on struggles women encounter in the professional world. “If you are a woman who doesn’t have caregiving obligations, you’re earning somewhere between 92 and 96 percent on every male dollar. If you are a woman with caregiving obligations, you’re earning closer to 70 to 72 percent on the male dollar.” Slaughter believes that the problem isn 't work-life balance, it 's that we as a society too often devalue those in caregiving roles. The author explains not only how society is discriminating against women, but also acknowledges how this issue affects men. “We constantly say a woman has two jobs: She’s working and she’s a mother. But we don’t say that about men. We need to make clear that they have a dual identity the same way women have a dual identity.” The article examines how the value of those in caregiving roles—“as mothers, as fathers, as children taking care of our own parents, as someone taking care of anybody who is disabled or ill” is often overlooked. This article reminded me of the discussion of social structures in Chapter 6 of the text. In particular, the discussion about the difficulties working parents with children face made me consider role conflict and role strain. When I read this article, it made me think about role conflict because this concept “arises among roles linked to separate statuses”, which is often the issue faced b... ... middle of paper ... ...ose your job.” The final questions discussed the author’s general advice to caregivers, both female and male. “Do not accept the hierarchies you are given. Do not accept the assumptions about the workplace that you are given. Do not accept the ideas about male and female roles you are given.” This statement encourages members of society to break the mold and address the role conflict and strain that the status of caregiver may introduce. The role of caregiver in our current society is often discussed with a negative connotation and the issues that can arise between the caregiver and their “real” job frequently produces a role conflict. The social structure of role is a crucial component in understanding many of the social constructs in everyday life. Through examining the concept of role in relation to caregivers, an expanded sociological analysis can be discussed.

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