Definition of Doing Gender
(noun) “[C]reating differences between girls and boys and women and men, differences that are not natural, essential, or biological. Once the differences have been constructed, they are used to reinforce the ‘essentialness‘ of gender” (West and Zimmerman 1987:137).
Doing Gender Pronunciation
Syllabification: do·ing gen·der
- American English – /dOO-ing jEn-duhr/
- British English – /dOO-ing jEn-duh/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈduɪŋ ˈʤɛndər/
- British English – /ˈdu(ː)ɪŋ ˈʤɛndə/
- Term coined by Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman in “Doing Gender” (1987), published in Gender and Society. The concept was later expanded by West and Sarah Fenstermaker in Doing Gender, Doing Difference: Social Inequality, Power, and Institutional Change (2002).
- The concept was developed partially based on Harold Garfinkel’s Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967) and Erving Goffman’s “Gender Display” in Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication.
- “Gender isn’t something we’re born with. It’s something we perform. And we learn about doing gender through friends, school, religion, and family. We are taught to ‘do’ our gender in many ways. Our parents might tell us to toughen up when we go out for sports. If we’re boys, our parents might not worry if we stay out late. If we’re girls, we might get in trouble for getting angry” (Tarrant 2009:6–7).
Fenstermaker, Sarah, and Candace West, eds. 2002. Doing Gender, Doing Difference: Social Inequality, Power, and Institutional Change. London: Routledge.
Tarrant, Shira. 2009. Men and Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.
West, Candace, and Don H. Zimmerman. 1987. “Doing Gender.” Gender and Society 1(2):125–51. doi:10.1177/0891243287001002002.
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
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