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Subverting transphobia and challenging ignorance: The interactive construction of resistant identity in a community of practice of transgender youth

Jones, Lucy

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Abstract

In this paper, I present two moments of interaction emerging from a focus group between young people who are members of a community of practice: a support group for transgender youth and their parents. Using discourse analysis, I demonstrate how the young people work collaboratively to construct a mutual identity which foregrounds their shared experience of transgender issues and minimises differences between them. I argue that they do this to actively challenge and resist the discrimination they experience due to transphobia and ignorance, which includes attempts to 'other' them. I show how the young people ascribe themselves agency by subverting the heteronormative ideologies which inform this othering, thus constructing an active, resistant, and validated mutual identity rather than a victimised, submissive, or othered one. This identity work tells us much about the hugely important role played by support groups in helping young people to construct a positive persona in the face of transphobic discrimination.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 24, 2020
Publication Date Oct 24, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 25, 2022
Journal Journal of Language and Discrimination
Print ISSN 2397-2637
Electronic ISSN 2397-2645
Publisher Equinox Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 2
Pages 149–171
DOI https://doi.org/10.1558/jld.18488
Keywords community of practice; transgender; youth; identity; transphobia
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/3787947
Publisher URL https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JLD/article/view/18488
Related Public URLs https://journals.equinoxpub.com/JLD/index

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