Identity in dispute: Conflicts surrounding the construction of transsexuality

Gerard Coll-Planas, Miquel Missé

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. All rights reserved. ‘Transexual’, like any other identity category, has a normative definition, which in this case is heavily influenced by its medical origin: there are social agents that control its use and there is conflict surrounding its boundaries. In this article, we analyze how the conflict over the definition of this category is managed through both individual and collective dimensions. Based on the analysis of interviews, focus groups, and Internet forum posts, it has been observed that there is a clash between two perceptions of transsexuality. The first one defends, from a biologist point of view, that the criteria to be included in this category are having undergone or wanting gender-related body modifications and following a normative reproduction of the claimed gender. The second one proposes a more open and strategic interpretation of the category. The clash between these two conceptions allows us to understand what is at stake in this apparently terminological debate and invites us to rethink the way we understand the connection between gender and body.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-52
    JournalPapers: Revista de Sociologia
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • Gender
    • Gender identity
    • Transgender
    • Transsexual


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