For whom is ignorance bliss? Ignorance, its functions and transformative potential in trans health

Mikulak, Magdalena (2021) For whom is ignorance bliss? Ignorance, its functions and transformative potential in trans health. Journal of Gender Studies, 30 (7). pp. 819-829. ISSN 0958-9236

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Trans people face biases and barriers in healthcare including health professionals’ lack of training and knowledge of trans health, bodies, and identities. Interactions between health professionals and trans people have been analysed as a site fraught with historical power imbalances, epistemological struggles that position trans people at a disadvantage and one where negotiations of access to adequate services and treatment continue. In this paper, I highlight the need to pay attention to not only how knowledge about trans bodies and possibilities is produced, negotiated and contested, but also to moments of claimed and/or actual ignorance that take place in healthcare. Applying a feminist epistemological lens, I ask what is at stake and what is the function of ignorance in the trans patient/health professional relationship. Such exploration is crucial if we recognize that practices of ignorance are often entangled with practices of exclusion and oppression. Methodologically, I draw on qualitative in-depth interviews with 18 health professionals in the UK conducted as part of a larger research project on trans health. In analysing the multi-faceted manifestations of ignorance within the data and linking them to feminist taxonomies of ignorance, I explore how ignorance can be critiqued and transformed.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Gender Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? feminist epistemologyignoranceknowledge productiontrans healthgender studiesarts and humanities (miscellaneous)social sciences (miscellaneous) ??
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Deposited On:
16 May 2024 13:35
Last Modified:
17 May 2024 01:54