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The Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography

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Men -- Identity, Gender identity -- Social aspects, Masculinity, Femininity -- Social aspects


This research examines how individuals “do gender” in an urban coffee shop by performing gender maneuvering strategies in order to gain masculine cultural capital typically accessed through displays of hegemonic masculinity. This participant ethnography was conducted in a corporate coffee franchise over the course of eight weeks, to observe gendered interactions in a public space. Observations were made of customer and barista socialization in the store, where gender displays were maneuvered through social artifacts such as clothing and hairstyles; as well as gendered social transactions such as conversational styles and heteronormative social customs. Research findings suggest that both masculine and feminine social actors adopted traits of hegemonic masculinity in order to gain a dominant social position during an interaction, while a few chose to display an alternative form of femininity to achieve the same goal. Gender maneuvering strategies in these interactions were identified by analyzing variations in patron’s gender displays. This study examines how individuals do gender within mixed-gender dyads, feminine dyads, masculine dyads, and through displays of alternative femininities.

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Social Work Commons