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A stubborn problem that has been recently examined by researchers Concerning the changing composition of the labor force is that despite women's increased participation, their entry into male-dominated occupations, and reduction of the "gender gap" in human capital and work experience, gender-based segregation and inequalities in the labor market still persist.
This issue has been investigated within different theoretical frameworks, such as socioeconomic structures and forces (Reskin and Roos, 1990; Rosenfeld and Kalleberg, 1990; England, 1993), organizational arrangements and interpersonal processes (Kanter, 1977; Ridgeway, 1997), family roles and division of labor (Bielby and Bielby, 1988), psychological predispositions and cognition (Deaux, 1985), and so on.
In this article we look at the problem from another angle: we employ metaphors of migration, territory, and borders to conceptualize gender-based segregation and reward inequity in the realm of work. Metaphor is "a way of thinking and a way of seeing" (Morgan, 1986); using it in research aims to understand something in a new way, enhance the data, and generate new interpretations. We attempt to show that thinking about women in traditionally male occupations as strangers in a country that is not their homeland illuminates this development and its persistence and the fate of women who cross the boundaries separating the genders in the sphere of work.
The utility of an approach is its ability to discern the mechanisms producing and maintaining the phenomenon it aims to explain as well as clarify our understanding of more general patterns, which, in the present context, are social categorization, distinction, and differential treatment based on ascriptive attributes, such as race, gender, age, ethnic origin, or nationality.
Sources of Data
The following analysis is based on relevant theoretical and empirical research literatures pertaining to women's position in the labor market and to people migrating from one country to another. The discussion focuses on the general comparable dimensions and largely disregards the variations among women and among immigrants. Obviously, not all women and not all immigrants are alike in respect to personal characteristics and human capital, nor are the social, economic, cultural, and historical circumstances associated with their movement into new territories and work domains. It would be important in future research to examine specific cases within the broad categories addressed in this study.
For original data, we draw mainly on two empirical studies that were conducted in Israel on two specific groups: women scientists in academia, and Russian immigrant-scientists. The first study of women in academia began in 1983 with a survey of the entire population of faculty members in the seven institutions of higher education (universities) in Israel. The entire female faculty at that time numbered about 430 women (13.5 percent of the total). Faculty women and men were compared in terms of proportions, promotion, and performance. In many respects, the position of women in academia in Israel resembles that of faculty women in the United States and other western countries; that is, they constitute a minority of the total faculty, are concentrated in the lower ranks of the academic ladder, advance more slowly than their male colleagues, and only a few reach the highest rank of full professor. A sub-sample of fifty women were personally interviewed with a questionnaire concerning their perceptions and attitudes toward their professional careers, family obligations, gender discrimination, etc. (Toren and Kraus, 1987; Toren, 1991).
The second study was mainly concerned with professional integration problems that confront scientists who move from one sociocultural environment to another in spite of the notion that science is culture-free and "the same everywhere." The sample of scientists studied included 207 persons who immigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel in the early 1970s. More than half of these scientists were employed in academic institutions and the others in research and development institutes of government, industry, and the private sector. The second stage of this study was performed following the second large wave of immigration from Russia in the early 1990s and was composed of a sample of 123 scientists who were employed in all institutions of higher education in Israel (Toren, 1988, 1994).
There is no overlap between the respondents of the study on immigrant scientists and the study on faculty women.
This article examines the social processes that affect both new immigrants in the host society and women in traditionally male occupations: stereotyping, exclusion, segregation, and assimilation. Both groups are compared in terms of these mechanisms and discern their similar and different manifestations.
Attributed Characteristics of Women and Immigrants
The major stereotypes in a society are those attached to race, ethnic origin, class, and gender. The binary divisions of white and black, high and low, male and female, native and newcomer are basic to the creation and maintenance of social categories that sustain inequality by establishing boundaries of inclusion and exclusion (Bourdieu, 1984; Zerubavel, 1991; Bar-Yosef, 1996).
Both sex and race are physical, personal, primordial, and permanent features, and the boundaries between their categories are (almost) untrespassable. Attributes of a social class or immigrant group are somewhat different; they are not such "simple" and obvious markers that time cannot erase. Immigrant status is usually a transient state, a matter of time, which disappears after a generation or two. Furthermore, one's class can be modified by mobility. Even race or ethnicity may be attenuated to some extent by intermarriage, whereas being female is, so to speak, a "life-long affliction." Gender is more biologically determined and usually more conspicuous. The demarcations between the sexes clearly define membership in one or the other category (with few exceptions). Nonetheless, beyond their biological and ascriptive aspects these categories are to a large extent socially constructed, negotiated, and transformed (Yancey et al., 1976; Epstein, 1988; Bem, 1993; Brekhus, 1994; Nagel, 1994). The "otherness" of outsiders is constructed and nurtured by stereotypes, and their externalization serves to legitimize their differential treatment (Reskin, 1987; Baron and Pfeffer, 1994; Lorber, 1994).
Empirically, these characteristics intersect, such as gender and race (black women), class and gender (middle-class men), and migrant and ethnicity (such as Chinese immigrants in the United States or recent Ethiopian immigrants in Israel). The latter is a good example of social identities and boundaries being constructed and reconstructed rather than "objectively" given. Thus, although Ethiopians are black, they are officially regarded as Jews rather than as a distinct racial group, which shows that sociocultural classifications may supersede biological ones. Similarly, the extreme "one drop rule" or the marking of children of black and white parents as black in the United States illustrates the impact of mental lumping and splitting (Zerubavel, 1996). These categorizations are neither natural nor logical, but are rather the results of social definitions of similarity and difference.
Identities and demarcations are not only imposed from the outside, but also created and adopted by minority group members themselves. Referring to ethnic identity and boundaries, Nagel writes:
The location and meaning of particular ethnic boundaries are continuously negotiated, revised, and revitalized, both by ethnic group members themselves as well as by outside observers. (Nagel, 1994; see also Yancey et al., 1976).
We have learned from personal experience that immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Israel object to being called "Russians," as is customary, and would rather be identified as "Jews from Russia." This term denotes that they identify themselves as Jews, not Russians, but it also conveys that they set themselves apart from Jewish immigrants from other countries.
Cognitive marking and zoning between groups of people are influenced and shaped by social institutions and prevalent ideologies and are, therefore, in continual flux and …