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. 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.
Dr Zowie Davy is Lecturer and Research Assistant in the Department of Sociology at The University of Lincoln, UK
Prize: Joint winner of the 2012 Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for the best first and sole-authored book within the discipline of Sociology. 'This important and timely book speaks to the gap in the literature concerning trans people and embodiment. Recognizing Transsexuals is theoretically sharp, drawing on the recent insights concerning gender and politics that have developed within the trans communities and elsewhere. It will be of interest to anyone concerned with gender equality, bodily change, and gender diversity.' Surya Monro, University of Huddersfield, UK ’Recognizing Transsexuals resonates with current personal, political and institutional shifts around gender diversity in the UK, Europe and North America. Its focus on trans embodiment and bodily aesthetics fills a gap in trans studies literature, and offers a distinctive voice to work on gender and the body. Davy fuses the personal and political to provide important theoretical and empirical reflections on issues central to "recognition" debates.' Sally Hines, University of Leeds, UK 'This book is an important read, not only for the insight provided into the lives of trans people and transsexual embodiment, but also for the social, cultural, and economic impact these ideologies will have on our own understanding of who we are as male and female, both, or neither.' Ethics and Medicine