Discuss about the Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism.
A discourse analytical method has emerged to be an interesting concept in today’s world with a variety of available approaches meant for analyzing and interpreting written, vocal or sign texts for decoding the hidden meaning, and re-framing the same. Every discourse expands beyond the confines of its sentence structure, and the socio-psychological perspective of the writer can be disclosed through the re-interpretation of the discourse. The text that the present report intends to analyze is named ‘Wage Gap’ isn’t a Conspiracy written by Ingrid Jacques (Jacques, 2017). The article is written with the intention of opposing the much debated issue of gender biasedness at workplace, which ultimately leads to lower pay scale for the female employees, for the very same work their male counterparts are doing. The author of the article refers to this as a mere myth, by backing his statement with the arguments of other noted critics. However, a thorough analysis into the article will reflect the social discourse that is ingrained in the mind of the author that has compelled him to pen down an article as this (Rorty, 2013).
Discussion of Discourse Method:
Pragmatism is one of the most interesting discourse analysis methods that have cropped up during the era of post-structuralism. This analysis method intends to claim that a discourse written at a specific period in history, or in a particular society will tend to reflect the interests, ideological perceptions and social beliefs of that specific time or particular society. In other words, Pragmatism intends to state that people speaking in a particular discourse speak or writes a discourse in close conformity with the “shared values” of the discourse he is acquainted with. In the conventional discourse of a society, people associate a set of attributes to a specific object, for instance red color may imply ‘stop’ in a traffic signal, or again the idea of a woman may be associated with the concept of tenderness, while that of a man with authority. In such a situation, as and when a human being intends to write a social discourse, he is bound to express the ideals and values prevailing in the society (Morgan, 2014).
Implicature and Hidden meaning:
On a literal plane, the implied meaning of the analyzed text is that the female employees are not subject to professional bias in terms of their remuneration at workplace, and it is the lack of flexibility with which the female employees work, that makes them unsuitable to earn higher. However, a closer look at the text implies that the author is trying to manipulate the thought of the readers, by putting the blame on women, their underperformance and their over-expectations. Yet it should be noted that the writer has been well-aware of the recent wave of feminism, and the impossibility of trying to oppose women or challenge their prospects in an article, and hence the writer also emphasizes the importance of empowering women (Brandom, 2015). He says : “telling women there is a wage gap doesn’t empower them, but rather holds them back”, and in this way the author tries to show the female readers that he does care about women empowerment, and yet seeks to manipulate their minds.
As the writer starts the article, the readers are likely to suppose that the writer is trying to favor women, and he is going to oppose the system of injustice which results in less payment of the women in a job in which a male employee is earning higher. The very opening sentence “ast week, emails poured in, informing me that women are paid much less than men for the same work. I started to get indignant about this injustice” compels the readers to think that the author will oppose this idea, and yet however as the article proceeds the reader understands that the main intention of the writer is to oppose this view.
The writer primarily seeks to support women, and their right to receive an equal pay, as he was well-aware that writing against women in a feminist era would also imply strong resistance, leading to the rejection of his principal idea of the article. Hence he shows himself concerned about the equality of women, trying to seek out the reason why women are paid less, and ultimately exploring that women should be encouraged to work more rather than complain less (Braunstein, 2015). Well-aware of the fact that he is opposing a much debated issue of unequal work-pay, the writer changes the tone and mood of the article, whereby it does not attack the women, but rather exhibits concern for the progress of women: “making the pay gap someone else’s fault draws attention away from encouraging women to make choices that would boost their paycheck, including choosing more demanding and higher paying careers”
Socio-Cultural Values and Beliefs of the Writers and the Receptors:
It should be noted that the article claims that women are not exploited at workplace in terms of unequal pay, and in fact their refusal to work for longer hours or flexible working schedule limits their opportunity for the same. There is no point stating the fact that the article got written keeping in mind the needs and social expectations of a male dominated world that does not acknowledge its own folly in undermining the interests and needs of women, and marginalizing the same. Hence, the author tends to shift the blame of a biased society driven by patriarchal ideologies to the women, who according to him are making the “wrong” choices that is denying them the right to get access equality in terms of wage structure in professional spheres (Sell, 2014). The writer blames the women by calling women incapable of earning more money than men on account of “wrong career choices”. Despite the effort of the writer to remain unbiased and objective while writing the article, he does fall prey to the ideological perceptions of the society that deems women to be unworthy while consider men to be the stronger and more deserving sex. In fact the very sentence “…women are more likely than men to prioritize flexible hours and time off” clearly asserts the patriarchal perspective of the author who believes that women belong to the ‘weaker sex’, and thus their refusal to explore new horizons in the professional world land them amidst mediocrity. As the author states that “Blaming the wage discrepancy won’t help these women”, it becomes clear that he trying to ventilate his socially constructed opinion of a patriarchal society, that relies on ensuring social stability at the expense of the well-being of a group of marginalized, exploited people.
Nevertheless, the author remains mindful of the fact that he might encounter resistance from the women readers as well, and hence he refrains from putting the entire blame on women. Accordingly he seeks out to blame “lack of education” and “tougher family decisions” to be the ulterior reasons leading to the same. Yet at the same time, it should be noted that the author does not seek to highlight how a male-centric view of world prevents the women from attaining high quality education, and resulting in the professional inequality at workplace (Anozie, 2016). The very reason why in some part of the world, women are less educated than men or are not allowed to opt for flexible work schedule, is because the male-centric world restricts her freedom. However, the writer is held back from openly criticizing the male-centric system for its responsibility in creating the wage gap between the sexes, considering the male-centered ideology that permeates his ideology.
To conclude, it should be noted that in ‘Wage Gap’ isn’t a Conspiracy” written by Ingrid Jacques, the author driven by patriarchal ideologies of a male-centered world, intends to blame women, overlooking the conspiracy of the male employees in contributing to unequal pay problem in the professional world. However, aware of the receptors being well-acquainted with the idea of feminism, and women rights, he tries to encourage women to work harder for the accomplishment of a more rewarding career in future.
Anozie, S. O. (2016). Structural models and African poetics: towards a pragmatic theory of literature. Routledge.
Brandom, R. B. (2015). Perspectives on Pragmatism: Classical, Recent, and Contemporary. American Journal of Theology & Philosophy, 36(1), 100-104.
Braunstein, G., 2015. Pragmatism and the Political.
Jacques, I. (2017). Wage gap’ isn’t a conspiracy. The Detroit Name. Retrieved 14 April 2017, from https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/ingrid-jacques/2017/04/08/ingrid-jacques-pay-gap/100230312/
Morgan, D. L. (2014). Pragmatism as a paradigm for social research. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(8), 1045-1053.
Rorty, R. (2013). Pragmatism, relativism, and irrationalism. The American Philosophical Association Centennial Series, 653-666.
Sell, R. D. (2014). Literary Pragmatics (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.