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Essay Humanities Social Sciences Theory

Gender and Sexual Identity: Transcending Feminist and Queer Theory

By Julie L. Nagoshi, Craig T. Nagoshi, Stephan/ie Brzuzy, 2013

Transgender individuals–those who live outside conventional binary gender constructs–challenge what we know about how identity works. Their experiences provide rare insights into not only gender and sexuality but also self-perception and identity construction, both personal and social. The first volume specifically on the topic, Gender and Sexual Identity presents transgender theory in depth, differentiating it from feminist and queer theories as well as from biological essentialist views on gender. Identifying a middle ground between qualitative and quantitative findings on gender, the authors analyze fluidly embodied, socially constructed, and self-constructed aspects of identity in transgendered individuals’ lives. This focus on lived experience illustrates how these facets of identity can unite in an integrated self, and how this self can become a springboard for empowerment and advocacy as well as understanding across the gender spectrum. Included in the coverage: Feminist and queer theories: responses to the social construction of gender.Quantitative and qualitative approaches to socially constructed identities.Transgender and trans-identity theory.Embodied identities, intersectionality, and narratives of lived experiences.Practice and personal empowerment.Coalition building based on socially constructed oppressed identities. Gender and Sexual Identity breaks significant new ground at the theoretical, research, and practice levels, and has the potential to transform the work of researchers and practitioners in the fields of gender studies, social work, psychology, sociology, and counseling.

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