Transsexual and Transgender people have become more visible in the institutional media, although these portrayals sensationalise and ridicule trans people experiences by focusing primarily on a supposed fictionality of their gender. In this way, those media concur to the dissemination and legitimisation of hegemonic transnormativity (McDonald, 2006 & Garosi, 2011). Conversely, online media proved to be a fundamental political and social platform for transgender people. Nevertheless, few studies focused on how trans people use those media to build their self-recognition and political subjectivities. Drawing on the theoretical standpoint of Judith Butler’s (1997) Theory of Subjectification, in this work I will focus on the different ways Italian trans women use online media resources to express different positionalities about transgenderism, transsexuality and gender transitioning. In particular, I will present the results of a discourse analysis on 44 online nonacademic resources (self-presentations, advice blogs and narrations of everyday life experiences) written by 10 Italian trans women. I identified four positioning strategies: “Transgender”, “Transsexual before being a woman”, “A woman who was born male” and “Just a normal woman”. These positioning strategies are not mutually exclusive, but rather they act as discursive and narrative resources which enable trans women to continuously redefine their experience in different situations. Moreover, I suggest that these discursive positionalities cannot be strictly categorised as emancipatory or conformist, as they simultaneously enact the reproduction and the destabilisation of the hegemonic discourses about gender and sexuality.

“I lack the right to exist. I'm not there”: Trans women, online media and subjectification

David Primo
;
Adriano Zamperini;Ines Testoni
2017

Abstract

Transsexual and Transgender people have become more visible in the institutional media, although these portrayals sensationalise and ridicule trans people experiences by focusing primarily on a supposed fictionality of their gender. In this way, those media concur to the dissemination and legitimisation of hegemonic transnormativity (McDonald, 2006 & Garosi, 2011). Conversely, online media proved to be a fundamental political and social platform for transgender people. Nevertheless, few studies focused on how trans people use those media to build their self-recognition and political subjectivities. Drawing on the theoretical standpoint of Judith Butler’s (1997) Theory of Subjectification, in this work I will focus on the different ways Italian trans women use online media resources to express different positionalities about transgenderism, transsexuality and gender transitioning. In particular, I will present the results of a discourse analysis on 44 online nonacademic resources (self-presentations, advice blogs and narrations of everyday life experiences) written by 10 Italian trans women. I identified four positioning strategies: “Transgender”, “Transsexual before being a woman”, “A woman who was born male” and “Just a normal woman”. These positioning strategies are not mutually exclusive, but rather they act as discursive and narrative resources which enable trans women to continuously redefine their experience in different situations. Moreover, I suggest that these discursive positionalities cannot be strictly categorised as emancipatory or conformist, as they simultaneously enact the reproduction and the destabilisation of the hegemonic discourses about gender and sexuality.
13th conference of the European Sociological Association - (Un)making Europe: Capitalism, solidarities, subjectivities
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3258282
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