2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Doing Gender: Why Mindfulness Matters

Abby L. Mueller
Dr. Victoria Mayer and Dr. Anton Daughters, Faculty Mentors

Gender is one of the most nuanced and integral parts of the human identity. Despite general understandings of gender, what it truly means to “do” gender remains ambiguous. In order to uncover the origins of gender from a social perspective, I performed a cross-analysis of sociologist Erving Goffman’s ideas with gender theorist Judith Butler’s work, using both normative gender expectations and exaggerated gendered bodies as examples of what it means to perform, or “do,” gender. Finally, I bring into conversation the mindfulness techniques made popular by Thich Nhat Hanh, in order to connect us to our sense of gender in a conscious way, raising our personal awareness of how we exist in social space. I hope that through my analysis, people will become more comfortable discussing gender, considering variety in gender, and discerning their own gender identity, if they have one.

Keywords: gender, performance, mindfulness, Erving Goffman, Judith Butler, Thich Nhat Hanh

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary Studies
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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