Chapter

Theorising transgender

Sally Hines

in transForming gender

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349163
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304074 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861349163.003.0002
Theorising transgender

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This chapter first addresses the medical models of transvestism and transsexuality. It considers ethnomethodology, which provided an initial critique of medical perspectives on transgender practices. In addition, the critiques of medical discourse brought by lesbian and gay studies, and feminism, are reported. The chapter then explains the ways in which other feminist writers have attempted to develop more progressive perspectives on gender and sexuality. The theoretical positions from the developing interdisciplinary field of transgender studies are elaborated, and the current work from the UK that seeks to bring a social analysis to transgender is examined. The relationship between ‘sex’, gender, and sexuality has been collapsed in medical models of transgender, and through many anthropological studies within lesbian and gay history. Transgender studies provide a further example through which to develop a social theory of gender diversity that is able to account for a range of (trans)gendered expressions, understandings, and identity positions.

Keywords: transgender; transvestism; transsexuality; ethnomethodology; medical discourse; feminism; sex; social theory

Chapter.  9744 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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