Multiple axes of social location and transpeople: Interrogating the concept of “intersectionality”
The experience of transgender people provides a unique opportunity to further our understanding of intersectionality, experienced and expressed through multiple axes of social location. Transpeople change genders in relation to androcentric, middle-class, whitenormative, and heterocentric cultural narratives. My dissertation contributes to our understandings of the interconnections of the social structural contexts of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and of how they shape the meanings we attribute to our experiences of self and identity. In addition, I show how the case of transpeople illuminates how all people draw upon hegemonic cultural constructions of intersecting social locations in processes of creating and understanding themselves. Thus, I provide insights into how individuals actively perform (“do”) their own multiple social identities (such as race, class, gender, and sexuality) and how they incorporate their perceptions of others’ attributions of multiple dimensions of social location. Finally, I suggest how the collective identities of identity-based social movements, such as the Transgender Movement, are rooted in racialized gendered meanings.
0631: Ethnic studies
0700: Social structure
0733: Gender studies