Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Doing cisgender vs. doing transgender: An extension of 'doing gender' using documentary film
by Johnson, Austin Haney, M.A., Kent State University, 2013, 57; 1555293
Abstract (Summary)

Trans men have been the subject of many empirical studies in recent years that focus primarily on their engagement with masculinity within interaction. By highlighting the experiences of trans men, researchers argue that the persistent and often invisible experiences of gender inequality, specifically those of cisgender women, are made more visible. While scholars studying trans men in these scenarios categorize these interactions under the general heading of doing gender, I argue that these studies highlight experiences of doing cisgender, defined in this paper as individuals' accomplishment of gender within interaction according to cisnormative standards. However, the generalized moniker of doing gender is complicit in the marginalization of trans individuals' experiences of gender because it marks the dominant gender identification, cis, as the unnamed norm and eclipses trans-specific experiences of gender. While understanding how trans people do cisgender is an important contribution to the literature, I argue that doing cisgender is one component of trans people's experience of doing gender. My primary contention in this paper is that trans people also do transgender; that is, they are held accountable to transnormative standards that police and enforce the medical/legal/social access to trans as an identity category. To illustrate the differences between doing cisgender and doing transgender, I conduct a qualitative content analysis of nine documentary films featuring trans men, highlighting instances in the films of trans men doing cisgender and doing transgender.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stacey, Clare L.
Commitee: Erickson, Rebecca, Rousseau, Nicole, Stacey, Clare
School: Kent State University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social structure, Gender studies, Film studies
Keywords: Authenticity, Documentary film, Gender, Transgender
Publication Number: 1555293
ISBN: 9781303874284
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