Deviant bodies : understanding trans becoming from the perspectives of medico-psychiatry and trans-subjectivity
Taking as its theoretical premise the assumption that the world is 'storied', the thesis aims to understand the narrative processes through which both the medico-psychiatric profession, and 'trans' women make sense of transsexualism. In order to Understand the ways in which stories are told about transsexualism it is important to recognize the ways in which a complex set of power dynamics work in order to hierarchialize story-telling, whereby authority is given to the stories of some, whilst the stories of 'Others' remain silenced.;Drawing upon a range of documentary sources, as well as questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with GPs and 'gender specialists', the initial aim of the thesis is to explore those stories produced within the medico-psychiatric domain, which attempt to make sense of transsexualism and trans becoming, at different historical moments. Imbued with this is an analysis of the extent to which medico-psychiatric discourses inform clinical practice.;As a necessary juxtaposition, the thesis seeks to complement the analysis of those stories produced within medico-psychiatry with an analysis of the stories told by 'trans' women, in order to account for the ways in which transsexualism is subjectively experienced and understood. Here, the aim is to become the ways in which 'trans' women understand and makes sense of their becoming as well as how they position themselves in relation to medico-psychiatric discourses. Moreover, by suggesting that 'trans' women were active agents in the construction of a trans identity from around the turn of the nineteenth century, the thesis suggests new ways of thinking about the relationship between medico-psychiatry and trans-subjectivity. Finally, it is through an analysis of the ways in which 'trans' women negotiate their own becoming, as well as their position within the sex/gender binary, the thesis problematizes the assumption of a grand 'turn to Transgender.