Transgender theory and embodiment : the risk of racial marginalisation.

Roen, Katrina (2001) Transgender theory and embodiment : the risk of racial marginalisation. Journal of Gender Studies, 10 (3). pp. 253-263. ISSN 0958-9236

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Queer theories have received criticism for their ethnocentrism and their lack of careful attention to the lived realities of transsexual and transgendered people. A forum is being established through the publication of transgender theorists' work, where transgender theorists may rework 'queer', but how well does this reworking address concerns about ethnocentrism? For some 'transpeople' it is important to maintain traditional cultural values by resisting identification with (contemporary western) medical discourses on transsexuality. How might queer and transgender theorising inform and be informed by the discursive pathways being carved out by people for whom medicalised understandings of gender may be deemed culturally inappropriate? I illustrate the points made in this paper by drawing from interviews with gender liminal people who live in New Zealand and who belong to cultures indigenous to the South Pacific. Whilst wholeheartedly supporting the efforts of transgenderists to challenge medical constructions of transsexuality, one of the purposes of this paper is to critique the way perspectives of whiteness echo, largely unacknowledged, through transgender theorising and to thus inspire more critical thinking about the racialised aspects of transsexual bodies and transgendered ways of being.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Gender Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? social sciences (miscellaneous)gender studiesr medicine (general) ??
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Deposited On:
25 Sep 2008 10:48
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 10:45