College Essay Examples

Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It Book Review

Philip Caputo Paper.

The title of the book reviewed in this document is “Shortchanged; Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It.” The author of the book is Mariko Lin Chang, a sociologist by profession. The book was published in the year 2010 by the Oxford University Press. Mariko came to the idea of this book one afternoon while listening to a local AM radio station mainly focusing on financial matters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While listening to two women traders discussing the market, Mariko realized he had little knowledge of the stock market and investing. Mariko also became curious about the gendered language the traders utilized to explore the market. Mark would finally arrive at the book’s title when he thought that financial information and knowledge are closely associated with gender and social class.

The book looks into why women in the current society have less wealth and how various stakeholders can assist women. Mariko begins by describing the broader gap in wealth possession between men and women in society. Men are wealthier in the community than women. Socioeconomic factors such as marriage, divorce, and salary earnings at workplaces play a crucial role in widening the gap. Chances of women living in poverty are higher, but single and divorced women are more likely to be poorer. Evidence reveals that wealth owned by single women is almost but a quarter of wealth owned by single men. The wealth escalator concept explains why men are most likely to change income into wealth than women. Low income earned by women minimizes their possibility of creating wealth. The types of carriers and institutions that women work in make them not quickly get into the wealth escalator. 

Parenthood also has an impact on wealth acquisition for both men and women. Single and married women are the caregivers of children; hence most of their time and income is dedicated to children. Women’s ability to save to own financially risky assets is relatively low. Women quickly utilize their savings when a crisis arises. Even wealth owned by married couples is more controlled by the man than the woman no matter the strategy adopted for equal control of assets. Mariko, therefore, argues new policy regulations such as payment of family leave, caregiving to be part of wealth escalator, and involving men in looking after children as a solution to women’s poverty. Government and other agencies can also improve single parent’s wealth creation by availing low-interest loans to women and maximizing women’s entrepreneurship avenues. Expansion of property definition as coded in divorce laws and decoupling cheaper medical care from full-time employment could also save the situation.

Shortchanged is an excellent book with a lot of information on gender-based socioeconomic factors. I have personally enjoyed reading the book. The book describes social organizations that prevent women from acquiring wealth as opposed to men. Women empowerment has been a global concern, and this book provides the platform into prospects of economically empowering women. I have gained insight into the wealth escalator concept. Learning about transforming income into wealth is an added knowledge that will improve my ability to create more assets. I have developed sociological strategies that will enable women to alleviate poverty. Understanding the proposed policy directions will personally drive me towards supporting women’s wealth creation. This book is ideal for both undergraduate and graduates social stratification course. Students will be able to further research into techniques women can adopt to invest funds and increase financial knowledge.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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