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August 31 , 2009

Recognizing Transsexuals

Personal, Political and Medicolegal Embodiment


Recognizing Transsexuals draws on interviews with transsexuals at various stages of transition to offer an original account of transsexual embodiment and bodily aesthetics. Exploring the reasons for which transpeople desire to modify their bodies, it moves away from the focus on gender that characterizes much work on transpeople's embodiment, to investigate the concept of bodily aesthetics. Recent legislation allowing transsexuals to apply for gender recognition provides the context in which transpeople challenge the conventional understandings of what it means to be men and women.

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The book examines key approaches to recognizing transsexualism from within a variety of fields and considers transsexuals' bodies, body projects and embodiment in relation to personal, political and medico-legal fields. It explores the ways in which transpeople's bodily aesthetics affect social relations - such as sexual relations, acceptance by others and their families - whilst also considering contemporary political trans community organizations and their public representation of trans-bodies.

Recognizing Transsexuals is the first sociological examination of how the bodies of transpeople are figured and reconfigured in socio, politico and medico-legal contexts and considers the impact of these shifts, and will be of interest to those with interests in embodiment, the sociology of law, sexology, medical sociology and gender theory.

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