Working-out : women's work at a leisure facility
Brady, Penelope Anne
Master of Arts
SubjectSex discrimination in employment Ontario Thunder Bay
Sex role in the work environment Ontario Thunder Bay
Aquatic sports facilities Ontario Thunder Bay Employees
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This thesis investigates women's formal and informal marginalization at work, focusing on employment and job assignments in the aquatics department of a leisure facility in Thunder Bay. I outline the theoretical perspectives on part-time work, methods of segregating women in employment, the social construction of space use, and sport ideology. The economic, political, and cultural fabric of the city is detailed, as well as its ties to the employment trends of the Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay and the specific site under study. The work performed in the aquatics department of the facility is described, focusing on the two basic divisions of labour, lifeguarding and instructing, and the mechanisms of control used by management. The impact on employees' work experiences of traditional concepts of women's natural abilities coupled with the physical and social environment of their work have not been studied extensively. This thesis illustrates how gender ideologies present in contemporary Western culture, especially their specific manifestation in the regional culture as reflected in the discourse and practices of users and workers at the facility, generates gender segregation at the worksite. At the specific work-site investigated, these factors have a substantial influence on the distribution of jobs and tasks among male and female staff. Despite possessing the same qualifications and being hired under the same job titles as men, gender ideologies and the practices that are inextricably bound up with them function to isolate women in stereotypical jobs.