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Young trans and intersex peoples’ experience of school

Researcher: Irina Schmitt

Abstract: 

How do trans and intersex young people negotiate their understandings of self with normative, nationally coded demands in schools? What kinds of support do they experience as useful or would they have expected to find? The study hopes to reach young and young adult trans and intersex people who go or have gone to primary and secondary school in Sweden.

In Sweden, as elsewhere, schools are inherently gender and sex-segregating and sex-re_producing spaces. Formally, schools and teachers are compelled to create environments that are conducive to learning for all students. While activists are working to introduce feminist, queer and norm-critical pedagogies into schools, and tentatively into teacher educations, researchers and activists agree that schools and teachers are often unprepared. “Such issues” are often relegated to the social and cultural only, rather than seen as the fields of knowledge production they are.

With this study, I will analyze young trans and intersex peoples’ narratives of school experiences in Sweden. I aim to contribute to the growing field of trans_intersex studies in Sweden and to local and international trans, intersex and queer-feminist education research. I am also reflecting about the seeming universality of the terminology of trans and intersex, noting the mounting frustration with the persistent whiteness and racism in queer communities, and to question Eurocentric genealogies of theorizing bodies and identities, in a society informed by both internal and external colonialism and migration. How is cis-normativity co-produced through not least racism, and norms around class and ability?

Source of funding: This project is funded by the Swedish Science Council, D0238701, 2 797 000 SEK “Unga transpersoners erfarenheter i skolan”

 

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Department of Gender Studies
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Faculty of Social Sciences