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Article Summary: Doing Gender by West and Zimmerman (1987), Gender and Society 1987

Updated on December 10, 2014

This article is focused at unraveling whether the new perspective of gender as a regular or recurrent achievement in the day-to-day social life has a scientific basis. In this endeavor, the authors undertakes an evaluation of various studies on different perspectives of gender and sex and the key form of variations on these aspects. According to the authors, there are inherent differences between existing among gender, sex categories and sex, and these understanding will help people comprehend on the interrelationship of these concepts in making a gendered person in a particular society. The authors define sex as an aspect that is ascribed in an individual’s anatomy, biology, physiology and hormones. On the other hand, they noted that gender has been traditionally regarded as an aspect that is achieved through social, cultural and psychological means.

In further scrutinizing the differences between these two concepts, the authors also rely on qualitative studies that focus on hermaphrodites ,as well as anthropological studies on exotic and strange tribes . From this evaluation, the authors noted that while gender could be achieved, it was by age five static and fixed and unvarying. The authors went on to note that the correlation between cultural and biological was reflexive and complex than earlier anticipated. Also in this assessment, the authors discovered that specific structural arrangements for instance those of family and work facilitated the achievement of some capabilities for individuals such as those that were earlier related to biology. This blurred the assumption of gender as being a recurrent achievement.


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