Nurses and marines epitomize accepted definitions of femininity and masculinity. Using ethnographic research and provocative in-depth interviews, Christine Williams argues that our popular stereotypes of individuals in nontraditional occupations—male nurses and female marines for example—are entirely unfounded. This new perspective helps to account for the stubborn resilience of occupational stratification in the face of affirmative action and other anti-discrimination policies.
Christine L. Williams is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.
"Williams' cleverly conceived study . . . makes for completely fascinating reading. This creative and original research demonstrates for us that the maintenanace and reproduction of gender identity is very different for men and for women and that it is different when men enter a female professional preserve and when women enter one that has been both male and masculine. A wonderful book!"—Nancy Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering
"In this fascinating book, Christine Williams demonstrates that a sociology informed by psychoanalysis can give us important insights into the nature of our society and culture, especially in regard to the ambiguous and ambivalent attitudes that define our gender relations."—Eli Sagan, author of Freud, Women, and Morality