1st Edition

Gender Fields The Social Organisation of Gender Identity

By Sofia Aboim, Pedro Vasconcelos Copyright 2025
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    Exploring gender through the lens of field theory, Gender Fields proposes a new framework for understanding the social organisation of gender identity. In conversation with Pierre Bourdieu's field theory, the book conceptualises under-theorised situated dimensions of gender, bridging the gap between macro and micro theories of gender. Drawing on extensive fieldwork conducted over five years in several countries in Europe and beyond, the authors situate gender as a critical site of autonomous socio-political struggle and highlight the centrality of the transgender experience in redefining gendered personhood and freedom. Increased trans visibility catalysed new social and political arenas of contestation that expanded the potential for reimagining gender norms and identities. The authors examine political and legal arenas, the medical field and health markets, gender naming, individual practices, and material-discursive embodiments, offering new insights into gender change. While numerous explanations have been proposed, this book offers a fresh perspective on these revolutionary developments. Gender Fields characterises gender as a field of struggle through a set of basic tools that can be usefully applied to studies in diverse settings. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with an interest in issues of gender, social theory and identity.

    Introduction 1. Gender as field: a theoretical contribution 2. From Pathology to Politics: The Great Transformation 3. The fields of recognition: transgender politics and the law 4. The political economy of transgender healthcare: Trans rights between the state and the market 5. Naming gender: the social organization of material-discursive practice. Conclusion


    Sofia Aboim is Full Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and the author of Plural Masculinities: The Remaking of the Self in Private Life.

    Pedro Vasconcelos is Associate Professor of Sociology at Iscte - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal. He was a senior researcher in the project TRANSRIGHTS - Gender citizenship and sexual rights in Europe.