The Segregation Premium: How Gender Shapes the Symbolic Valuation Process of Occupational Prestige Judgments. By: Valentino, Lauren. Social Forces. Sep2020, Vol. 99 Issue 1, p31-58. 28p.

Symbolic valuation is an important but overlooked aspect of gendered processes of inequality in the occupation structure. Prior work has largely focused on the material valuation of gendered work, such as how much predominantly-female versus predominantly-male occupations pay. Less research has examined the symbolic valuation of work, such as how prestigious predominantly-female versus predominantly-male occupations are. What research has examined this question has remained inconclusive at best. Drawing on insights into and techniques from the sociology of culture and cognition, this study examines the role of an occupation’s gender composition in how Americans judge the prestige of jobs, testing key predictions from theories of gender and status. Using 2012 General Social Survey and federal occupation-level data, it finds evidence for a segregation premium: people view gender-segregated occupations as the most symbolically valuable jobs. Both men and women reward gender-segregated occupations with symbolic value, although there is evidence of a gendered in-group bias in which women in particular see women’s work as more prestigious, while men see men’s work as more prestigious.