In an advanced society like the U.S., where an array of processes work against gender inequality, how does this inequality persist? Integrating research from sociology, social cognition and psychology, and organizational behavior, Framed by Gender identifies the general processes through which gender as a principle of inequality rewrites itself into new forms of social and economic organization.
Cecilia Ridgeway argues that people confront uncertain circumstances with gender beliefs that are more traditional than those circumstances. They implicitly draw on the too-convenient cultural frame of gender to help organize new ways of doing things, thereby re-inscribing trailing gender stereotypes into the new activities, procedures, and forms of organization. This dynamic does not make equality unattainable, but suggests a constant struggle with uneven results. Demonstrating how personal interactions translate into larger structures of inequality, Framed by Gender is a powerful and original take on the troubling endurance of gender inequality.
"The most important book on gender I have read in decades. Why has gender proved so unbending? Ridgeway gives us answers, and paves the way for a new feminist theory that incorporates decades of studies on how gender bias operates at home and at work."-Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
"It's rare that one of this generation's leading scientists creates an accessible book that tackles the really big questions. And it is even rarer to have such an important theoretical work, backed by decades of research, written so beautifully. You can use this book in a graduate seminar, or give it to your neighbor to show why treating boys and girls differently perpetuates women's disadvantage. If you only read one book about inequality this decade, make it this one."-Barbara J. Risman, University of Illinois at Chicago
"In lucid prose, Cecilia Ridgeway describes the social psychological processes that continually reproduce gender inequality. Marshalling research from sociology and psychology, Framed by Gender explains why women have not attained equality and what would be required to reach that goal."-Alice H. Eagly, Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University