Large Americano, Extra Masculine: How People Do Gender at the Coffee House


  • Aubrey Limburg Portland State University



This research examines the way in which customers in an urban cafe “do gender.” This research expands existing literature on doing gender in organizational settings by making the customer the focus of the analysis of gender presentations in public spaces. The findings are based on ethnographic research that was conducted over the course of eight weeks in an urban Northwestern city in the United States. My findings suggest that male and female customers most commonly performed hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity, respectively. These performances were further pronounced when analyzed in the context of heterosexual relationships, where accountability for gender presentations became even more salient. The way that customers interacted with employees reinforced already normative presentations of gender.