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Doing Gender

Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman, in 1987, first presented the concept of “doing gender” as a contrast to the idea that gender is a static, personal characteristic. Rather, gender is a characteristic with some flexibility, which is achieved through successfully performing the socially constructed behaviors assigned to one’s sex. Gender is inherently interactional, such that individuals enact gender with the awareness that others will assess their performance. Doing gender has been one of the most frequently cited concepts in social science research on sex and gender. This entry describes the original conceptual contributions, various expansions on doing gender, and the concept’s application in research. The entry concludes with critiques of the original conceptualization and how the concept has been applied in research.

Conceptual Contributions ...
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