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Discussion 5 gender - Essay Example

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ANALYSIS OF “DOING GENDER” BY WEST AND ZIMMERMAN Institutional Affiliation According to West & Zimmerman, how does “doing gender” appropriately work to maintain the power structure? “Doing Gender” is a fascinating article by Candace West and Don Zimmerman, which first appeared in the issue of Gender and Society in 1987…
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Discussion 5 gender

This became apparent when the two authors suggested that once an individual is labeled a member of a particular sex category, that is, a man or a woman, the individual is expected to behave the same way other members of that particular gender behaves. In this regard, the individual is expected to “do gender,” since the ease of social interaction depends on it. In this perspective, West and Zimmerman were advancing power structure by legitimizing inequality in society. According to West and Zimmerman, what is female in a patriarchal society, by definition, is devalued2. In this regard, the authors claimed that the belief that biological females and males are essentially different exist to substantiate male dominance. As such, West and Zimmerman suggest that there is nothing like gender equality since men are justified to dominate women in society. For example, the authors claimed that men should always remain the heads of families, since they are expected to “do gender.” Regarding female, West and Zimmerman argued that female should always fight with the male since their gender requires them to do so. In fact, West and Zimmerman articulated that time has come where gender is not what people are, but something that people do in their daily lives. West and Zimmerman also went on to advance and maintain power structure by promoting male dominated society when they suggested that just as people create inequality by creating gender during social interaction, the same way people create race and class inequality during social interaction3. How does “doing gender” inappropriately work to change the power structure? As earlier stated, “doing gender” by West and Zimmerman mainly works to maintain the power structure by promoting a male dominated society. West and Zimmerman believed that gender equality is not achievable in the contemporary society. They claimed in the article that once a person is labeled a member of a particular sex category, a man or a woman, the individual is expected to behave the same way other members of that particular gender behaves4. In this regard, the authors meant that men should have manly behaviors while female should also behave the way women are expected to behave. Therefore, since it widely believed that men should dominate over women, ‘doing gender’ is not working to change this power structure. Therefore, instead of advancing gender equality among men and women, “doing gender” only works to legitimize male dominance over female in society. They argued that gender must be always sociality constructed in terms of “normative conceptions” of women and men5. In fact, according to West and Zimmerman, people work knowing that their actions are judged according to what is considered appropriate masculine or ... Read More
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