Gender Roles And Stereotypes In The Cocktail Waitress

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In the ethnography, The Cocktail Waitress, by James Spradley and Brenda Mann the waitresses conform to many of the gender roles, stereotypes, and stratifications that their wider society puts on them. They rarely challenge these cultural norms and expectations because nobody wants to question tradition, they want to be considered good waitresses, and most of all the men at the bar inforce the social norms put on the women. The first reason why the waitresses conform to many of the gender roles, stereotypes, and stratifications that their society puts on them is because nobody wants to question tradition or the way things have always been. In the text it states, “No one at Brady’s thinks to suggest that a male could be hired to work as a cocktail …show more content…
For example it gives them better tips, better customer relations and most importantly better relations with the bartenders. The cocktail waitresses have to deal with many things that can keep them from being a good waitress. In text Spradley and Mann state, “Each girl has to learns to demurely respond to taunts, invitations, and the physical invasions of her personal space” (1975:148). In Brady’s bar it can be very hard to please the bartender. If you do not please him he insults you bringing down your self worth. This makes it so that the first job of the waitress is not to serve the customer but the bartender. An example of this is when the text says, “But if in the midst of pressure a girl manages well, she will often hear the bartender say, ‘You’re a damn good waitress,’ or she may find one or another bartenders like to work with her… Even though each girl strives to please the bartender, she will be told, ‘You bitches have no brains. It’s a good thing you go to college because you wouldn 't make it in the real world’” (Spradley and Mann 1975:53). This enforces gender stereotypes because it tells the waitresses that they are stupid and have no place in the public world. The strive to impress the bartenders can make the girls conform gender roles, stereotypes, and stratifications that are put on

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