Names, as proper nouns, are clearly important for the identification of individuals in everyday life. 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 Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation the embodied doing of gender and, likewise, that bodies are key to gendered practices of forenaming and surnaming: Governed as they are by common law and national or local statutes, practices of personal naming in the United Kingdom and United States are relatively unfettered by legislation for the U.
Nonetheless, practices of personal naming in these countries are patterned and structured: In particular, sex and gendered forenaming and surnaming practices suffer from a form of what psychologists call functional fixednesswhereby the well-known function of an object masks its other possible uses Corsini In the case of personal names, their everyday familiarity makes it hard to move beyond a taken-for-granted understanding of their use and meaning within the gendered social world.
My aim in the present article is to break down this functional fixedness about personal names and gender and thereby achieve a step-change in the theoretical and analytical scrutiny of their relationship. For sure, forenames-plus-surnames operate in these kinds of ways simultaneously to display both individuality and connectedness.
In so though, it is my argument in the present article that forenames and surnames are also constructing and displaying sex and gender.
The display of individuality and connectedness through personal names is a gendered process and is especially apparent when newborns are given forenames, when transgender people choose forenames for themselves, when heterosexual women marry, and when children are given surnames.
In summary, in the doing gender approach, both sex and gender are theorized as socially constructed categorizations, identifications, and practices—routinely accomplished in everyday, ongoing social interactions and within which bodies are central.
Together, these features make the doing gender approach useful for my purposes "Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation" the present article. Also useful for my purposes is the work of Shilling However, as I have argued elsewhere Pilcherour identities inextricably involve not only our bodies
Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation also our names. Consequently, the concept of embodied named identity is necessary to capture the outcomes of identification practices of naming that are fundamentally orientated around and rooted in the body.
In the present article, my focus is more specifically on the nexus of names, sexed and gendered bodies, and identities. In other words, my focus is on gendered embodied named identities. I show how sexed and gendered bodies are irreducibly intertwined with the identity practices of personal naming: Bodies are key to gendered practices of forenaming and surnaming, and forenames and surnames likewise help in the embodied doing of gender. In the remainder of my article, I re-evaluate a range of evidence on sex, gender, and naming practices in relation to three key questions.
Third, in what ways are naming practices and their outcomes socially uneven and unequal Duncan ? Contemporary reproductive technologies allow the sexing of a fetus categorizing its sex to occur prior to birth. Once the child has been sexed using the body, parents must, shortly thereafter, make a choice about the forename their child will have. Determinants of forename choices made for children include kin and ethnic affiliations and honoring discussed further in the followingas well as changing cultural influences Alford ; Daly and Wilson ; Edwards and Caballero ; Fryer and Levitt ; Lieberson ; Sue and Telles Yet, it is the sex categorization of the child as female or male which remains the primary determinant of forename choices.
It is a very strong cultural norm in the United Kingdom and United States as elsewhere to give a new-born baby a sex-specific forename Alfordaccording to the sex categorization of its body as male or female. In an analysis of U. Indeed, books and websites of today advising parents-to-be on baby names still tend to list possibilities only by the sex categories of boys and girls for example, www.
At the very beginning of the incorporation of a newborn into social personhood, then, forenames are used in the decisive accomplishment of the categorization of sex e. As argued by Messerschmidtsex-categorized bodies are necessarily involved in the doing of gender, including in relation to my own example of forenaming practices.
As my illustrative examples of forenaming show, gendered embodied named identity is a core part of what Shillingp. Because there are strong "Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation" expectations about the coincidence of body pedagogy and forenames Alford ; Lieberson et al.
In relation to personal names, I argue that contradictory embodiment occurs when normative expectations about the coincidence of bodies, sex category, gender, and forenames are breached.
Similarly, in their account of patterns of change in androgynous forenames whereby increased deployment for girls leads to decreased deployment for boysLieberson et al. Their name-based association with higher-valued masculinities may mean, for example, an increased likelihood of studying science and mathematics Bryner ; see also Coffey and McLaughlin These findings suggest that a girl with a male-appropriate forename may benefit from contradictory embodiment, whereas a boy with a female-typed forename is likely to be contaminated by it.
Moreover, Moss-Racusin et al. In a study of gender bias among science faculty staff seeking to hire a laboratory manager, Moss-Racusin and colleagues showed that, in otherwise identical job applications, candidates with the sex-typed forename of John were rated more highly than were candidates with the sex-typed forename of Jennifer. So, in addition to marking and displaying embodied sex category, I argue that forenames are important in the doing of gender in terms of maintaining a gender hierarchy in which masculinities are routinely ranked over and above femininities.
Studies have shown that forenaming practices are important in relation to what I see as embodied processes of racial and ethnic honoring and identification. Using data that covered every child born in the U.
Hispanic couples tended to give their male children Spanish-appropriate forenames, but more often gave their female children English-typed forenames. This patterning of forenames, sex, gender, and Hispanic ethnicity was argued to be a reflection Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation boys being regarded as the key carriers of ethnic tradition and as less in need of protection against racial discrimination than were girls.
The latest data show that Muhammad was the 12th most popular name given to baby boys in
Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation and Wales in Within Muslim families, the forename Muhammad or one of its spelling variations is very dominant because it is traditional to name baby boys after the prophet of Islam in order to honor and respect him.
In contrast, data Office for National Statistics do not indicate equivalent practices among Muslim families in England and Wales when forenaming girls.
Analysis of forenaming practices in relation to race and ethnicity are also revealing of inequalities in a gender order whereby boys may have a more enhanced status as embodied carriers of ethnic heritage and bearers of ethnic credentials compared to girls. Clearly, forenames can do important cultural work in relation to doing difference. The concept of gendered embodied named identity helps us to recognize that the important cultural work forenames do around difference is strongly and at the same time also about doing sex and gender.
The laissez-faire character of the UK and U.
For example, the UK writer and broadcaster Clive James opted to change from his given forename, Vivien, which is widely regarded in English-speaking countries as a female-appropriate name McCrumwhereas the U. Well-known examples of transgender people changing their forenames in relation to their redoing of gender include Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, a U.
Forenames also act as a fundamental component of evidence of gender change in documents and other important cultural artifacts for identification that support and confirm the new, civil-legal identity of transgender people.
In addition to Agape, Connell recounts the experiences of another of her interviewees, Julie, a male-to-female transgender person who worked in telephone-based customer service. First, they suggest the strength of cultural expectations that forenames correctly signal and match the embodiment of sex category in this case, a masculine-sounding voice and, second, they are illustrative of contradictory embodiment and of the strategies individuals use in this case, mishearing a forename and substituting it with a sex- and gender-appropriate one so as to repair and sustain their common-sense knowledge about the congruity of sex, gender, and forenames.
The examples of the forenaming of children including in relation to doing ethnic difference and forenaming by transgender people have allowed me to show that sexed and gendered forenaming deserves greater attention by gender scholars and that the concept of gendered embodied named identity has great utility in this respect. Next, I examine the ways surnaming practices are related to sex categorization and contribute to the re doing of gender.
As "Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation" critical evaluation of the literature has shown, relatively few sociological studies have focused primarily on forenames and gender. There are also several studies of surname choices made for children Almack ; Davies ; Dempsey and Lindsay ; Johnson and Scheuble ; Lockwood Bacho ke naam a sexual orientation al. This body of work primarily documents patterns of change and determinants of choice or is undertaken from the perspective of family and kinship practices.
As such, it is less concerned with how naming contributes to social practices of sex and gender. As I explain in the following, there is a paucity of evidence on surnaming practices of gay couples and parents.