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Title: Names and “Doing Gender”: How Forenames and Surnames Contribute to Gender Identities, Difference, and Inequalities
Authors: Pilcher, Jane
First Published: 10-Jul-2017
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Citation: Sex Roles, 2017
Abstract: Names, as proper nouns, are clearly important for the identification of individuals in everyday life. In the present article, I argue that forenames and surnames need also to be recognized as “doing” words, important in the categorization of sex at birth and in the ongoing management of gender conduct appropriate to sex category. Using evidence on personal naming practices in the United States and United Kingdom, I examine what happens at crisis points of sexed and gendered naming in the life course (for example, at the birth of babies, at marriage, and during gender-identity transitions). I show how forenames and surnames help in the embodied doing of gender and, likewise, that bodies are key to gendered practices of forenaming and surnaming: we have “gendered embodied named identities.” Whether normative and compliant, pragmatic, or creative and resistant, forenaming and surnaming practices are revealed as core to the production and reproduction of binary sex categories and to gendered identities, difference, hierarchies, and inequalities.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s11199-017-0805-4
ISSN: 0360-0025
eISSN: 1573-2762
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Sociology

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