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Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005, 01:32 pm
Is "Game Studies" Science?

'Cause if it is, I'm screwed. I'm half as likely to get grants as my male peers, at least if I live in Europe, and I'll have to be 2.5 times as productive as my male colleagues in order to be perceived as equally competent.

This, for the record, sucks. Why did I want to be in academia again?

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
arib

Dunno.

Why am I going into a field where everyone will assume I'm a child molester just because of my gender?

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

You've got a point - but I don't know much about discrimination against male social workers, so I can't tell you what I think about its pervasiveness or significance. I do agree that men who go into "women's fields" (child care, teaching, social work) face social discrimination because they're "lowering themselves" to do women's work - but I also know that men in education tend to be the highest-paid and quickest-promoted employees, even if the field is dominated by women, and I'm curious whether that goes across other traditionally female areas as well.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
theczech

I do agree that men who go into "women's fields" (child care, teaching, social work) face social discrimination because they're "lowering themselves" to do women's work

The lack of trust in men holding jobs concerning children is not about them "lowering themselves"...whether or not these professions are undervalued is a separate discussion. It's about the pervasive belief in our society that having a Y chromosome means you can't be trusted around children to the degree someone without one can. Child abuse statistics show that this belief is false. Women and men are equally likely to abuse children.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Hmm, I think it depends on which analyses you're reading. I think both are true (in that sense of "yes, that is what people think, even if it's wrong"). But actually, I think the two issues are to some extent linked. If this work is devalued and disrespected because it "belongs to women" then any man who goes into the field must have ulterior motives - since no one who had a better option available to them would do "women's work." Again, I'm not saying that's the only discourse about these kinds of work that's out there, and I agree that guys are totally treated unfairly when it comes to childrearing - but I do think there's also a seriously political element about who does what kind of work and how.

(There's a very interesting study that I'm trying to lay my hands on, but IIRC it talked about the fact that the decline of social prestige and pay levels in most professional fields correlates pretty strongly with the entrance of women - in the aggregate, not as exceptions - into the field. But I wish I could find the actual study, since it might be more limited than I'm remembering it . . . .)

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
theczech

I don't know that I buy the connection, but it really is a matter of interpretation rather than direct evidence. I guess my skepticism is connected to the fact that the belief that men are an inherent danger to children has at the very least become a more intense attitude in recent years while childrearing has always been a predominantly female job.

(Interesting study, but one should always be careful about assuming that correlation equals causality. [Post Hoc Propter Hoc...or somesuch. My Latin sucks.] I can think of a number of other more complex causality chains just off the top of my head, and no doubt there are better candidates than the ones I thought of.)

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
psychick

Would things be that much better otherwise? (And what is it considered now, psychology?)

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 06:43 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Um, it's considered whatever it's considered in the particular schools where it's being taught - so at Columbia it's communications, at U-Wisc it's education, elsewhere it's digital media or psychology or computer science or . . . well, you get the picture.

I just find the persistence of gender bias depressing, though I'm hoping that the shrinking of the labor force over the next couple of decades will help women's relative position in the workforce . . . .

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
boffo9

Jess, you already are 2.8 times as productive as the average workaholic, and if you factor in the Academia quotient, that comes out to a whopping 3.5 times as much productivity. Factor in the job offers you have and you come up with a statistical designation of factor 11, which means on the combined Helms-Hsu Skewed Conglaturativity Cycle (created by those whiz kidz at Gartner Group as part of their normal 'pull numbers out your ass' technique*) you have a generalized grant generation likelyhood of eighty three percentiles per period quarter.

Which means, in plain English, you have likely to worry about because you are already talented and recognized as having talent.

* The method I mentioned about whiz kidz at Gartner Group sadly isn't an exxageration.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

I think it's a little too easy to say, "Well, I'm talented; that won't affect me." (And theczech, this goes for your comment too.) First off, that doesn't address the issues that other women face. There are lots of women out there who aren't so talented that they can manage to be twice as productive as their male peers, but who still have something to offer. I don't think it's fair or right of me to ignore their problems just because I happen to be pretty focused and productive. But there's little question that this will also affect me personally. Sure, I might get recognition, support and other nice perks of success - but not at the level that my work deserves. I don't really want to work twice as hard for the same benefits. I'd rather spend that time thinking, reading, writing and playing games. I really don't think that I'm outside the system - I don't think anyone is.

Though the Gartner Group thing is kind of funny. :)

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
boffo9

I don't really want to work twice as hard for the same benefits. I'd rather spend that time thinking, reading, writing and playing games.

Good point. Good points all. How does one fix this without resorting to affirmative action stuff?

Though the Gartner Group thing is kind of funny. :)

You have no idea. GG is a great racket. Pay millions to have your business idea analyzed/evaluated by a bunch of theorists with no real-world experience who then hopefully provide results that make sense. Results invariably come in pretty charts or complicated but innaccurately designed Excell spreadsheets that fail any validation process.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
maastrictian

Good point. Good points all. How does one fix this without resorting to affirmative action stuff?

Well, you can have intelligent affirmative action, where you review or replace the people in charge of these sorts of things. Of course, you need someone to make the decision about who to replace and how to review, which can be just as biased.

This study (and many others like it) shows that its possible to demonstrate bias against women objectively. We just need to make college admisions / academic funding / what-have-you an open enough proces such that people can do these studies. And then, of course, we have to be pissed off enough that the people in charge will listen to the results of these studies.

--Chris

Fri, Jul. 15th, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC)
boffo9

Well, you can have intelligent affirmative action, where you review or replace the people in charge of these sorts of things. Of course, you need someone to make the decision about who to replace and how to review, which can be just as biased.

I would argue that isn't affirmative action, its just people working to avoid judgements against a person based on articles outside of their effort.

This study (and many others like it) shows that its possible to demonstrate bias against women objectively. We just need to make college admisions / academic funding / what-have-you an open enough proces such that people can do these studies.

Yes. I so agree. So would my cousin, a professor at UCLA (I think). She avoided having children for a couple decades. Now that she has received tenure, she will have kids starting at age 41. She has said on numerous occasions that women professors who reveal that they have kids almost never get tenure and find themselves under a glass ceiling no matter what field or school they are teaching at.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
theczech

If the average academician is anything like the average mathematics academician as I witnesses when I was in grad school, being 2.5 times as productive shouldn't be at all difficult.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

As I said above, maybe it won't be difficult - but even if the extra work is easy, it's still extra work for which I won't get a shred of credit. Here's hoping I can be an exception to the rules - even if I know that realistically, I'll probably be affected by this at least at points during my career.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
theczech

Facetious comments aside, as far as I can tell, being underestimated and unappreciated is an inherent part of working life. Whether based on gender/race/etc. or not, people will pigeonhole you according to their preconceived ideas and no amount of enlightened discourse will change this. It certainly never stops being annoying, but it's something one has to live with.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Well, yes and no. Sure, everyone is underestimated at times, but it seems clear from the studies above that women are underestimated and unappreciated more than their male peers. It's not the absolute that I'm worried about, it's the relative problem. Even if everyone's getting shafted together, that's better than the rather impressive discrimination these studies found.

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC)
theczech

Fair enough, but what's the solution other than the slowly shifting sands of attitude change? Call me a pessimist, but the whole "open process" thing may or may not make any difference at all. One thing I was not clear on from the articles/studies was whether or not discrimination could be evaluated effectively on a case-by-case basis.

If it is, opening up the process could do wonders. If not, it may suffer under the same problems that have historically plagued anti-discrimination efforts. When there is a pattern on the macro scale but difficulty showing bias on the micro scale, no remedy tried thus far has shown much effectiveness. The true failure of affirmative action was not "reverse discrimination", which was pretty much all perception and no reality, but the fact that it never really lifted up the groups it meant to help to any significant degree. Laws worked when people were overtly refusing to consider people based on gender or race, but have pretty much floundered ever since.

So, I guess the question is, where is the line between that which can be remedied and that which must be filed under the general crappiness that is part of human behavior? The studies may not have the answer.