The Landscape of Local Gender Norms across the United StatesWilliam J. Scarborough
Every place has its quirky attributes, cultural reputation, and distinctive flair. But when we travel across America, do we also experience distinct gender norms and expectations? In his groundbreaking Gendered Places, William Scarborough examines metropolitan commuting zones to see how each region’s local culture reflects gender roles and gender equity. He uses surveys and social media data to measure multiple dimensions of gender norms, including expectations toward women in leadership, attitudes toward working mothers, as well as the division of household labor.
Gendered Places reveals that different locations, even within the same region of the country, such as Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, have distinct gender norms and highly influential cultural environments. Scarborough shows how these local norms shape the attitudes and behaviors of residents with implications on patterns of inequality such as the gender wage gap. His findings offer valuable insight for community leaders and organizers making efforts to promote equality in their region.
Scarborough recognizes local culture as not value-neutral, but highly crucial to the gender structure that perpetuates, or challenges, gender inequality. Gendered Places questions how these gender norms are sustained and their social consequences.