During lesson 10, I was faced with visions of my own ethnocentric way of thinking. On the same token, I was faced with ideals that allow me to understand worldwide masculinity. Ethnocentrism is defined as “…a nearly universal syndrome of attitudes and behaviors, typically including in-group favoritism. Empirical evidence suggests that a predisposition to favor in-groups can be easily triggered by even arbitrary group distinctions and that preferential cooperation within groups occurs even when it is individually costly” (Hammond & Axelrod). In the US, it is understood that classist and sexist policies are in place to continue a system in which marginalized individuals and women are less receptive of benefits while those profiting from these inequities are, largely, wealthy white men. That stated, the in group idea of America sustains that despite these inequities, women are still provided with more opportunities than in other developed countries. Looking at data provided in the lesson, masculinity in global business continues to prevail and includes that of America. While the fallacy of opportunity and equity for women exists in the USA, it is clear that problems continue to exist, worldwide, regarding the pervasive power of masculinity and male dominance in business.
“As Michael Kimmel (1997) points out, masculinity is almost invariably invisible in shaping social relations, its ever-present specificity and significance shrouded in its constitution as the universal, the axiomatic, the neutral. Masculinity, he notes, assumes the banality of the unstated norm—not requiring comment…” (1997) The idea of masculinity in global business connections is something that I did not fully consider, until chapter 10. As Kimmel has stated, the idea of global masculinity in business is so pervasive that we don’t even notice it’s there because it is the global standard. This not only gives me cues in which to conduct business but also gives me inspiration to create new business methodologies, leaving less gap between masculine and feminine figures in the global business world.
In the lesson, we learn from the graphs that Chinese and Indian business are on the same wavelength when it comes to diverting to “masculine traits.” Generally on the higher side, in terms of a global perspective, the masculine traits found within the cultures are within similar range to others (Penn State WC, 2020). This tells me a few things: First, traits such as assertiveness and competitiveness are viewed as masculine traits, which, is problematic and second that these traits are upheld as standard business practices. As a woman, understanding that business must be done within these parameters for any type of global connection, is intimidating because there is predominant bias before going into business for a large corporation. Not only must women adhere to the ideals set forth in masculinity but also must overcome the marginalization and bias, therefore, working doubly hard to complete the same type of work.
As these are not new statements nor new theories, it is understood that masculinity is the dominating norm within society. As a teacher of a non gendered curriculum, it’s more apparent to me when remembering that the global business world continues to uphold gender bias. There are no such thing as masculine or feminine traits, there is, however, such thing as masculine and feminine socialization. It’s a case of nurture vs nature and I see this all the time in younger children that I teach. Prior to reaching an age of being fully socially bias, children will explore many genders, identities and forms in order to discover their place within the world. By upholding a non gendered curriculum, I am creating a generation that will not have to adhere to strange sets of societal standards in order to be able to connect with fortune 500 companies and corporations. Assertive will no longer be a masculine trait, it will be a trait that comes from one’s own motivation.
Bederman, Gail, and Michael Kimmel. “Manhood in America: A Cultural History.” Contemporary Sociology, vol. 26, no. 1, 1997, p. 20., doi:10.2307/2076574.
Hammond, Ross A., and Robert Axelrod. “The Evolution of Ethnocentrism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 50, no. 6, 2006, pp. 926–936., doi:10.1177/0022002706293470.
Pennsylvania State University World Campus (2020). OLEAD 410 Lesson 10: Asia: Focus on China and India. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/2041071/modules/items/27977873