madmen - Nicole Chan Sociology 320 19 October 2011 1. The...

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Nicole Chan Sociology 320 19 October 2011 1. The jobs and the people occupying them in “Mad Men” are the socially constructed and gender role socialized roles that people “should” play in society. There was an obvious theme of social inequality, the white males were depicted as the wealthy, powerful, and pompous advertisement executives, while women and black males played the role of the underdog. During the opening scene, a black waiter is harassed by his male white boss for bothering Don Draper when the waiter had done nothing wrong. In the elevator scene the elevator attendant was also black and the powerful businessmen were all white males, who were harassing the only female in the elevator with snide remarks. Black males clearly did not have access or the resources to gain access to high-status occupations; they were treated with little respect and discriminated against socially and in the work place. In addition to blacks working the low status jobs, women were often objectified and perceived as sex objects. For example, on Peggy Olson’s first day at work, Mr. Campbell, along with the other male executives make sexual comments about her legs and figure and refer to her as if she is a piece of meat, she is completely dehumanized by the way they talk to and about her. While women were harassed in the work place they also did not object to the inappropriate behavior because they did not know any different. When Peggy was getting trained on her first day, the words of wisdom she received from Joan Hollaway were to show more skin and act a certain way to please Mr. Draper. Women were viewed as nothing but sex symbols; it was an unfamiliar concept for women to hold high-powered occupations. This is also referred to as, the “sexual division of labor—a fundamental feature of work” (Padavic and Reskin 2002: 7). Women, doing mindless and repetitive work on the typewriters and making phone calls, occupied all the secretarial and clerical jobs. When Holloway shows Peggy the typewriter she assures Peggy that it is not as complicated as it looks, in fact, the “technology is simple enough for a woman to use.” Women were labeled as inept to hold the same skills and occupations as men did; this concept was reinforced in the work force, community, and household, such that it was engrained in everyone’s mind, including women. The social and racial inequalities are manifested in types of occupations that people hold. As we have discussed in class, being black is a key factor in unequal employment opportunity. The film, “True Colors: Discrimination in Everyday life” is a study conducted on two men, placed in the same exact situations, who come from the same background—they
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madmen - Nicole Chan Sociology 320 19 October 2011 1. The...

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