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Undoing Gender

Francine M. Deutsch
Gender and Society
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Feb., 2007), pp. 106-127
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27640948
Page Count: 22
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Undoing Gender
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Abstract

"Doing Gender," West and Zimmerman's (1987) landmark article, highlighted the importance of social interaction, thus revealing the weaknesses of socialization and structural approaches. However, despite its revolutionary potential for illuminating how to dismantle the gender system, doing gender has become a theory of gender persistence and the inevitability of inequality. In this article, the author argues that we need to reframe the questions to ask how we can undo gender. Research should focus on (1) when and how social interactions become less gendered, (2) whether gender can be irrelevant in interaction, (3) whether gendered interactions always underwrite inequality, (4) how the institutional and interactional levels work together to produce change, and (5) interaction as the site of change.

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