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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

“Doing gender” is a paradigm first articulated by West and Zimmerman for theorizing gender as socially produced in ongoing interactions of everyday life. This essay assesses the strengths and limitations of doing gender for understanding crime. It describes the insights the approach offers for conceptualizing gender, and it assesses the specific contributions of doing gender in criminology, as well as its shortcomings for investigating the relationships between gender and other inequalities and crime. These include problems of tautology; gender dualism; limited attention to stratification, hierarchy, and power; and challenges for investigating the intersections of gender with other axes of inequality such as race and class. The essay provides examples of scholarly works that have benefitted from doing gender while attempting to overcome its shortcomings. It concludes with recommendations for future uses of doing gender and discussing how its conceptual insights can expand our knowledge of gender and crime.

Keywords: doing gender, crime as social practice, gender dualism, gender stratification, intersectionality

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