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irina Schmitt

Irina Schmitt

Senior lecturer

irina Schmitt

Gendered knowledges in schools – trans* young people’s experiences and schools’ strategies

Author

  • Irina Schmitt

Summary, in English

What knowledges and understandings of gender are done and produced
in schools in Sweden today? Through interviews with trans* young people
and young adults, this study analyzes schools and adults’ abilities and knowledges to understand and meet the needs of trans* students and to address cisnormative structures in school. The participants’ narratives give a rich
and complex image of what it can mean to be trans* and go to school in
Sweden and show that many students take it upon themselves to educate
the adults in their schools about trans*-inclusion.
Many participants discuss administrative violence (Spade) and cultural
cis-genderism (Kennedy) that affect the mundane aspects of being in
school and the knowledges that are given space and produced. Young
trans* people can become the bearers and sharers of knowledge about
what it means to be trans* and about embodying abject(ed) identity formations, and about the necessity to manage interlocking oppressions. They
learn about the workings of un/justice in spaces of knowledge production
and about creating support for themselves and others. On the other hand,
there are experiences of embeddedness of trans* as unequivocal part of
social and academic knowledge production in schools.
Which this presentation, I am interested in following Engel’s suggestion
to analyze political struggle and changes as paradoxical, rather than linear,
by exploring the paradox that such different experiences can be located
in one person’s experiences of school, if not in the same school. I want
to argue that we need to strengthen both a rights-based approach and a
subject knowledge-based approach to make schools better places beyond
cis-normativity.

Department/s

  • Department of Gender Studies

Publishing year

2019-10-09

Language

English

Document type

Conference paper: abstract

Topic

  • Educational Sciences

Keywords

  • trans
  • transgender
  • non-binary
  • school
  • Sweden
  • trans-feminist
  • interview

Conference name

g19. Swedish Conference for gender research

Conference date

2019-10-07 - 2019-10-09

Conference place

Göteborg, Sweden

Status

Published