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Problematizing the cisgendering of school washroom space: interrogating the politics of recognition of transgender and gender non-conforming youth

By Jennifer Ingrey, 2018

This paper examines how transgender and gender non-conforming youth are represented and shaped as specific subjects vis-à-vis the cisgendered problematics of the washroom space in schools. In the first part of the paper, I undertake a critical analysis of one policy- informing text on the implementation of the gender neutral washroom in schools to consider how the transgender and gender non-conforming student is constituted through specific discourses of accommodation, submission and protection that delimit their recognisability and force a potential risk of misrecognition. I also draw upon my own empirical research [Ingrey, Jennifer C. 2014. “The Public School Washroom as Heterotopia: Gendered Spatiality and Subjectification.” PhD diss., University of Western Ontario] to prioritize transgender and genderqueer voices and provide an analysis of the practice of recognition. The analysis is grounded in [Foucault, Michel. 1980. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972– 1977. Translated and edited by Colin Gordon. New York, NY: Pantheon Books; Foucault, Michel. 2000. “Afterword: The Subject and Power.” In Michel Foucault: Power, edited by James D. Faubion and Paul Rabinow, 326–348. New York, NY: The New Press] the analytics of subjectivation and pastoral power, [Butler, Judith. 2004. Undoing Gender. New York, NY: Routledge] the politics of recognition of the self, [Juang’s, Richard M. 2006. “Transgendering the Politics of Recognition.” In The Transgender Studies Reader, edited by Susan Stryker, and Stephen Whittle, 706–719. New York, NY: Routledge] transgendering of the politics of recognition, alongside [Bacchi’s, Carol. 2009. Analysing Policy: What’s the Problem Represented to Be? Pearson: Frenchs Forest, NSW] critical approach to policy analysis.

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