Smith, D. 2009. “Categories Are Not Enough.”

Smith, Dorothy E. 2009. “Categories Are Not Enough.” Gender and Society 23 (1): 76-80.

W&Z useful in contributing to visibility of women’s compliance in self-silencing when communicating and interacting with men. DD as interactional.
Disagrees with “how the political categories of race, class, and gender are translated into the objects of social scientific investigation as interaction and as “doing difference” (76)
– Doing gender as ethnomethodological, but cannot be extended to the social relations that formulate the complex interactions and social movements for gender/class/and racial inequality
– The complexities of RCG and their interrelation cannot be understood from a single theoretical model such as DG or DD.
– Problematizes W&Z’s substitution of gender with sex; how doing being and embodiment (and biology) factor into the doing of gender?
– Takes on a sociobiological understanding of the primacy of genetics in creating difference as a point of “social organizational dispositions” of primate behavior (77)
– Gender inequality is tied to the ability to bear and care for children, historical perspectives based on these divisions of labor
– Race and gender cannot be similarly categorized, as presumptions of gender are rooted to biologies, race has no physiological foundation. Though genetic markers may exist to create indicators that we assume have meaning; “race reflects social relations that go deeper than the notion of difference can encompass” (78)… likewise, class’s definitions do not have inheritance to the body, and is defined as an external process and comparison to others… therefore, limits the interaction and applicability of DG/DD.


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