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A subfield of LGBT studies, transgender studies provide an interdisciplinary approach to gender studies, gay and lesbian studies, and sexology by studying the intersections of sex and gender as related to cultural representations, lived experience, and political movements. Transgender Studies presents a rapidly growing and increasingly influential field in contemporary transdisciplinary Gender Studies. It is one of the key elements in defining the research and teaching landscape of CGF. Understanding transgender as a non-linear and deterritorialising movement away from birth assigned sex, this field participates in the ongoing project of undoing gender binaries. Transgender Studies stands as an umbrella term including intersex and non-binary research, and as an intersectional feminist project, Transgender Studies is anchored in grassroot activism. It is political by nature, and within the context of recent world-wide political shifts to the right and the threat it poses to human rights, and especially those of minorities, Transgender Studies is more than relevant and crucial in understanding and combating the violent rhetoric’s concerning gender and sexuality.
With its autobiographical and autoethnographic roots, Trans Studies is still situated in between the theoretical and methodological, and the everyday lived experiences and realities of trans people. The research strand on Transgender Studies at CGF focuses among others on transgender representation, ecology and environmental studies, trans health care and trans medicine, intersex and trans grassroot activism, work life as well as the importance of integrating trans and non-binary perspectives in gender equality work. The field of transgender studies has grown exponentially in sociology over the last decade. In this review, we track the development of this field through a critical overview of the sociological scholarship from the last 50 years. We identify two major paradigms that have characterized this research: a focus on gender deviance (1960s–1990s) and a focus on gender difference (1990s–present). We then examine three major areas of study that represent the current state of the field: research that explores the diversity of transgender people's identities and social locations, research that examines transgender people's experiences within institutional and organizational contexts, and research that presents quantitative approaches to transgender people's identities and experiences. We conclude with an agenda for future areas of inquiry.
Transgender studies are the latest area of academic inquiry to grow out of the exciting nexus of queer theory, feminist studies, and the history of sexuality. Because transpeople challenge our most fundamental assumptions about the relationship between bodies, desire, and identity, the field is both fascinating and contentious. The Transgender Studies Reader puts between two covers fifty influential texts with new introductions by the editors that, taken together, document the evolution of transgender studies in the English-speaking world. By bringing together the voices and experience of transgender individuals, doctors, psychologists and academically-based theorists, this volume will be a foundational text for the transgender community, transgender studies, and related queer theory.