Talk:Doing gender

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The references are incomplete, having only the title, author, and year of publication, but lacking the name of the journal and the volume, and page number. A search on Google Scholar shows that all 12 of the present references were published in one journal, "Gender & Society," which also published the article which is the subject of this article. Edison (talk) 20:39, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Notability: Walled garden?[edit]

So far the 12 references are all articles published in one journal, Gender & Society. A notable scientific article should have influenced a field in a larger way than by gaining the notice of the authors, editors, and readers of one lone journal, even though the journal appears to be a proper scholarly journal with peer reviewed articles. When a series of articles are based on one source, it causes some concern about a "walled garden". Unless other reliable sources (other journals, textbooks in sociology, books from academic presses and respected publishers) show significant coverage of this journal article, it should be deleted or merged with Gender role. Edison (talk) 20:50, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I've added a 'Further reading' section with articles in sociology, geography, linguistics, criminology, and medicine, as well as gender-related journals other than Gender & Society. I think this shows that the concept has influenced a relatively large field of social sciences. By the way, this is a small sample of the many articles I found; I do not claim that they are the best or most appropriate sources for this article, but they do seem to establish broader notability.
On the other hand, I'm not 100% certain that this concept is distinct from Gender performativity. The latter term is closely identified with philosopher Judith Butler, but it has had broad influence in the humanities and social sciences, probably including many of the authors currently cited on this page. Cnilep (talk) 02:45, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I am also curious about the difference. I am not very familiar with these concepts, but they do appear to be distinct:

One continuing source of potential divergence between Butler and West and Fenstermaker comes from the dual meaning of performativity for Butler--its theatrical and linguistic uses in her work. Though it would be a serious misreading to reduce Butler's conception of gender solely to the theatrical sense of performativity or to treat it as simply a dramaturical exercise, it remains unclear as to what the present status of performativity vis-a-vis performance is in her framework. Without question, for West and Fenstermaker, doing difference is not a set of performances, or a series of "displays" (cf. Goffman 1976). These authors not only do not embrace this model, they actively reject it.
- Moloney and Fenstermaker Doing Gender, Doing Difference p. 203

Cheers, Stephen (talk) 07:04, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
It's nice that further reading has been addded, but it absolutely does not solve the problem. Every single claim in this article that is based on a source is from one journal. There is no way that this article can discuss the issue in a broad and fair manner like this. (talk) 12:50, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
There is also a page Social construction of gender difference. Perhaps all three should be merged? (talk) 13:42, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

This article is a classic in its field, and is cited everywhere. You can start with these 1,840 citations (at time of writing) and figure out which ones are notable enough to be included here. Mathglot (talk) 10:07, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

This article was edited as part of an edit-a-thon[edit]

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This article was edited as part of the San Francisco WikiWomen's Edit-a-thon. The editor who attended the event may be a new editor. In an effort to support new editor's & a healthy environment, please assume good faith to their contributions before making changes. Thank you! Sarah (talk) 20:23, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Possible Citations to Improve Article[edit]

Hi! Over the next few weeks I intend to edit the current article doing gender with the goal of eliminating the concerns posted above. Below is an annotated bibliography of possible sources (some which are currently cited in the article and some new). If anyone has any insight into other appropriate sources, especially from non-sociological disciplines, they would be greatly appreciated!

BRUNI, A., GHERARDI, S. (2007). Omega’s story. The heterogeneous engineering of a gendered professional self. "Dent M. e Stephen W. (edit by). “Managing Professional Identities. Knowledge, Performativity and the “New” Professional”, Routeledge, Londra. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Coltrane, S. (1989). Household labor and the routine production of gender. Social Problems, 36(5), 473–490. doi:10.2307/3096813 Coltrane’s study furthers West and Zimmerman’s theory of “doing gender” (gender as accomplishment) by examining the division of household labor in families and the extent to which child care is essentialized as a “womanly” attribute in families where parents share child care responsibilities and in those where the female parent takes on the responsibility of child care.

Jurik, N. C., & Siemsen, C. (2009). “Doing gender” as canon or agenda: A symposium on West and Zimmerman. Gender and Society, 23(1), 72–75. Retrieved from In 2009, Gender and Society published “A Symposium on West and Zimmerman’s “Doing Gender”, asking scholars to offer critiques of West and Zimmerman’s work. In the current article doing gender, six of the citations provided come from this issue of Gender and Society. I propose using Jurik and Siemsen’s article to discuss legitimate criticism about “doing gender” in an effort to maintain neutrality, while at the same time avoiding the “walled garden” that currently exists on this page.

Romaine, S. (1999). Communicating gender. Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates. Romaine’s research focuses on the ways that doing gender involves discourse and language. Also discuss the gendered, “man-made” nature of language.

Schilt, K., & Westbrook, L. (2009). Doing gender, doing heteronormativity: “Gender normals,” transgender people, and the social maintenance of heterosexuality. Gender & Society, 23(4), 440–464. doi:10.1177/0891243209340034Schilt and Westbrook use the concept of “doing gender” to examine the interactions between cisgendered and transgendered people and to establish a link between “doing gender” and heteronormativity. Specifically, Schilt and Westbrook further West and Zimmerman’s idea that, “If we fail to do gender appropriately, we as individuals-not the institutional arrangements-may be called to account (for our character, motives, and predispositions)”, by focusing on the consequences of doing gender that is inconsistent with one’s sex during sexual interactions.

Stanton, D. C., & Stewart, A. J. (1995). Feminisms in the Academy. University of Michigan Press.Many of the criticisms about the current article doing gender refer to the lack of sources from other fields of study. Stanton and Stewart provide insight into how doing gender is both important and counterintuitive to the discipline of psychology. Stanton and Stewart describe research methods that may further the psychological study of doing gender.

West, C., & Fenstermaker, S. (1995). Doing difference. Gender and Society, 9(1), 8–37. Retrieved from West and Fenstermaker elaborate on West and Zimmerman’s concept of doing gender as a way to maintain the hierarchical structure of sex/gender by demonstrating that the concepts of race and class also maintain societal hierarchies and work in conjunction with gender to maintain social inequalities.

West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing gender. Gender and Society, 1(2), 125–151. Retrieved from Using an ethnomethodological approach, West and Zimmerman further the study of gender as a social construct by developing the concept of gender as a lifelong accomplishment, achieved through daily social interactions. West and Zimmerman argue that “doing gender” serves to legitimize and maintain heteronormative gender roles by falsely essentializing them. West and Zimmerman focus on Goffman’s ideas of gender roles and gender display, and particularly take issue with his assertion of gender display as optional. West and Zimmerman also posit that although individuals have agency when it comes to displaying gender, they will still be perceived by others as either male or female. Using the case study of Agnes, a transsexual raised as a boy until the age of 17, from Harold Garfinkel’s “Studies in Ethnomethodology”, West and Zimmerman demonstrate the difference between sex, sex category, and gender.

West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (2009). Accounting for doing gender. Gender and Society, 23(1), 112–122. Retrieved from In “Accounting for Doing Gender, West and Zimmerman respond to critiques of their seminal work, “Doing Gender”. Specifically, West and Zimmerman elaborate on methods that will allow for the further study of “doing gender”. Ghalmars (talk) 06:54, 4 November 2013 (UTC)