Are Gender Differences Status Differences?

  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway
  • David Diekema


Are gender differences in interaction a result of women’s lower status and power in society as a whole? A number of researchers have argued that they are (Berger, Rosenholtz, & Zelditch, 1980; Fishman, 1978; Hall, 1972; Henley, 1977; Lockheed, 1985; West & Zimmerman, 1977; Zimmerman & West, 1975). To anyone whose motive for studying gender differences is to understand gender inequality, status explanations are powerful and appealing. They promise to explain how inequality in society structures interaction and how the resulting inequalities in interaction perpetuate gender stratification in society. The consequence is an increase in our understanding not only of interaction, but of the larger process of gender inequality.


Task Group American Sociological Review Performance Expectation Status Explanation Expectation State 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway
  • David Diekema

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