The Pros And Cons Of Doing Gender

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According to West and Zimmerman (1987), 'doing gender is unavoidable ' (p. 145); it is a process that encompasses all interactions–formal and informal–continuously engaging individuals in a public display of one 's sex category attributes. Consequently, doing gender is closely linked to structural arrangements and the division of labour. This essay is going to discuss how gender and organisational norms and interactions influence one another, and how the idea of masculine and feminine 'essential natures ' is produced. On the one hand, it will be examined how the act of assuming gender impacts one 's workplace experiences, prospects and behaviours. On the other hand, it will be explored how the discourse on gender relies on social norms outside of the
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324). The difference, then, is a product of cultural and ideological processes within society at large. In this sense, doing gender is a discursive activity, in which men and women enact their 'natural ' differences inwardly and in social situations, thus creating a form of social control that makes the gendered division of labor possible, and enables this hierarchical organisation to persist (Ashcraft, 2004; Frye, 1983; West and Zimmerman, 1987).
Thus, in this context, structural changes that may benefit the position of women in the workplace–such as legal reforms and social reorganisations–have limited practical effects (Colgan, et al., 2007). The accepted social authority of men and a structural endorsement of masculinity in all socio-cultural spheres are perpetuated and kept in place through an appropriation of male-dominated ways of seeing. Consequently, doing gender is based on 'deeply rooted gendered social norms that reinforce existing understandings of appropriate roles for women and men ' (LSE, 2015, p.
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