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Doing gender as opposed to being a gender - Essay Example

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In the article Doing Gender by West and Zimmerman, gender is presented as a strong ideological tool that is used in daily interaction to build and strengthen differences between sexes. So what is the meaning of doing gender? And how does it vary from being gender?
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Doing gender as opposed to being a gender
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Download file to see previous pages In his definition of gender, he brings it out as “interactional portrayals of what individuals would like to convey about sexual natures, via the use of conservative gestures” (West & Zimmerman, 1987, p. 22). This depicts the pursuit of gender as unreasonable. It means that individuals behave according to what they want understood on their sexual types.
According to sociology, both gender role and gender display pay attention to the behavioral elements of being either man or woman as opposed to the biological variance between the two. According to West and Zimmerman, the idea of gender as a role makes it unclear concerning the work that is required in producing gender in daily activities, while the idea of display demotes it to the edge of interaction. They argue that “Participants in interaction organize their various and manifold activities to express or reflect on gender, and are disposed to perceive the behavior of others in a similar light” (West & Zimmerman, 1987, p. 75).
This means that gender is about controlling one’s actions according to the behavioral guidelines for one’s selected sex type and seeing others in the same perspective. This may not be applicable to individuals who are intersexual, having a biological makeup that is ambiguous. Instead, such persons could be assigned sex types according to the way they effectively discharge their gender-specific roles. Transgender could also be taken to belong to their chosen sex type without the essential biological standards as long as they follow the guidelines of the performance of gender.
In the West, the cultural view on gender sees both men and women as naturally and indisputably defined types of having psychological and behavioral susceptibility that can be foretold from their reproductive functions. This can be termed as gender since one functions according to his sex. In contrast, gender can be defined as the act of controlling ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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