Thursday 14 January 2021

Doing Gender in Coffee Shops

"Overall my observations confirmed my assumption that the majority of customers frequenting Coffee Corps displayed either hegemonic masculinity or emphasized femininity (Connell 1987). However, the focus of my research was to identify gender maneuvering strategies (Schippers 2002), therefore the results of this study suggest that many individuals performed gender displays which differed from their perceived primary gender expression to varying degrees...

...These displays often seemed to reify hegemonic masculinity when enacted by individuals displaying an overall masculine or feminine gender display, and conversely a few individuals appeared to challenge the gender hierarchy through a display of an alternative femininity. Examples of gender maneuvering were often observed in the interactions of mixed-gender dyads in which individuals attempted to access masculine cultural capital through a temporary display of hegemonic masculinity or emphasized femininity." 
McClean, 2014 

"The way in which customers interact with employees shapes and reinforces present notions of gender. Many of my coworkers are verbal about their under-standing of male and female gender performances. At times, they were quick to assume passivity or compliance from female customers regardless of their engagement with emphasized fem-ininity as well as assumed assertiveness and confidence in men regardless of the performances of hegemonic masculinity. In es-sence, they were quick to essentialize male and female behavior based on the traditional gender performances that took place at The Coffee House. Therefore, traditional gender performances were also upheld by my coworkers through their narratives of essentialist gender differences." 
Limbourg, 2003

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- Limbourg, A. (2003). Large Americano, Extra Masculine: How People Do Gender at the Coffee House. Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, 3(2), link
-McClean, J. (2014). Gender Maneuvering over Coffee: Doing Gender through Displays of Hegemonic Masculinity and Alternative Femininity. Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, 4(2), 19-31.
- photograph by Saul Leiter via