Type: Review
Pages: 5 | Words: 1250
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Mason in her article illustrate the attitude of employers toward employees through the scope of discrimination based on gender, body size and income. The data for analysis was taken from 1997 to 2008 on the basis National Longutudinal Survey of Youth. The author tries to represent the article as a tool on creation the positive test on discrimination analysis. Nevertheless, the data varies from different reports based on the self-discrimination statistic are making her claim week at the same time. However, the article is well organized, the scope of the work can seem a little blurry, because the evidence referred to the terms and concepts of casual validity, generalizability and measurements do not provide a clear picture of the scope definite by the author. I would like to give the main idea of the Mason’s article, before providing the critical arguments and conclusions.

The article distinguish Mason tries to find connection between fatness and inequality based on social economics. According to her body size and class are variable at the individual level. To overlook these she suggests using as tool prejudicial discrimination, statistical discrimination, and concepts of meritocratic discrimination. To analyze and compare weight among different racial and gender groups Mason uses BMI and distinguish terms fat and nonfat from normal and healthy. Mason tries to find out when and how the differences of income constitute one of the unlawful forms of discrimination. To achieve a reliable result of the data source she uses a range of variables of interest such as income, obesity, education, parenthood, work experience, occupation, interaction terms and control variables. Almost the same points are used to go through the results of the findings including controls and interactions. According to the date analysis provided in the article, the fatter the employee is, the worst social position s/he has. As a result, Mason in her article shows the whole perspective and so data on each factor have the support from other scientists or are conclusions based on already exist. Nevertheless, the not all evidences of the findings are meeting the terms and concepts of measurement, generalizability and casual validity.

The Unequal Weight of Discrimination: Gender, Body Size, and Income Inequality Mason gives the route of the measuring in the title of the article. The first part of the title still supports the inequality and highlights the gap in understanding the issue in society, which is usually associated with obese people. The positive test, developed by Mason, do not include those who suffer psychological issues, such as bulimia or anorexia. The second part represents concepts of gender, body size or weight and income. If to speak about gender, we usually refer male/female or man/woman. The 21st century itself is the evidence of double standards and the author forgot about the representatives of the LGBT. Some of them would not support the division mentioned in the article. If to consider this fact, it also can be valued as discrimination.

Next concept, which is the corner stone of the article, is body size. The author of the article decided to equate this notion with the body weight. According to body mass index there are four main categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese. Mentioned terminology issue demonstrated concepts of fat and nonfat in order to replace place of the normative language of normal or healthy weight. Moreover, provided data in the article are taken from the table Descriptive Statistics for U.S. Women and Men, 1997-2008. This fact itself does not meet the validity measurements. In addition, the concentration on the weight does not give the idea of the health. On one hand, the author tried to face it, on the other hand she missed it content by the conceptual change of criteria and construction.

The desire to go deep into analysis of the basis for discrimination on the ground of the weight leads to a deadlock, which expresses in meritocratic discrimination. Mason casually mentions about this in conclusion, saying that the most famous counter-argument is the wage gap between slender and fat, which influence actual differences in productivity or ability of the workers (Ibid). For one this can be discrimination, while other will never pay attention to this fact. The lack of the personal information does not support the proclaimed idea of the article.

The income was taken from the National Longitudinal Survay of Youth. The cases from 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2008 are represented in the table Contributors to Income for U.S. Women and Men Aged 23—29. The BMI is < 30 — 35. The key measurements for income, mentioned in the table, are college degree, parenthood, weeks worked, white collar worker, race, socioeconomic background and personal characteristics. The income differs from region to region. Often, the college degree can not be the bullet factor. Women income is not the statistical discrimination and cannot be overcame by persistent work and presence on the work place. However, the data provided in the table do not reflect the situation fully. In order to achieve accurate date analysis, the research should have been taken in each race group. As a result, provided date in this way could reflect situation on interested issue, but in particular group. Nevertheless, the more women are in profession, less popular and prestigious it is among men.

The same is observed in the socioeconomic background and personal characteristics. We cannot say how high is the rate of those, who were brought up in single parent families or even in the orphanages. Uneven situation is in the section of personal characteristics, which includes any health problems and ASVAB. First, health problems influence the work ability and the capacity. Second, the health problems differ from each other. Third, and the main, if overweight is disease, then why not include it in the section any health problems. It seems, that author decided to go the easiest way and exclude few important factors.

External validity or generalizability gives an answer on the question if our observations can be applied to the whole population. For example, at high school counselors cannot encourage fat students to apply for college. On the opposite, colleges usually do not admit applicants, who are qualified. As a result, parents will consider paying college tuition for a fat daughter’s or not. From this statement, it became obvious that colleges still encourage people to go to college. However, the meaning, that parents are not ready to pay a fat daughter’s tuition makes to think that society is misunderstanding the obesity as a genetic factor and as a physiological problem of the whole nation.

The article gives a clear understanding that not all methods are applied in a certain situation. The method depends on the result we need to achieve and the concept we want to develop. Moreover, it is important to keep balance in the usage of the methods, because the provided result can differ a lot. This can cause an issue in understanding of the research and possible ways of its analysis.

Despite the fact, that the author’s argumentation sometimes is poor or not very convincing, the article creates a great vision for further development of the topic. Disbalance of the article researcher and her team overcome, if they will provide missing explanation. The reading helped to indicate the problem, and analyze it according to the measurement validity, generalizability, causality and ethics. The material and date provided in the article are the start of the developing and implementing bias programming in order to find the ways to solve the issue, which is ruining the nation from the inside.

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