Embodying gender: Transgender body/subject formations in Taiwan

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Abstract

'A soul trapped in the wrong body' is a common description employed by trans subjects to explain their unusual condition. While useful in illustrating the often contradictory feelings, perceptions, self-images, and social expectations that trans subjects have to negotiate as they move through social space; the body-soul imagery also obscures the manifold differences in endowment and resources among trans subjects that may limit their embodiment. Important aspects of contemporary socio-cultural culture also add to the complexities of trans existence or even seriously hamper the logistics of their body/ identity-construction. The present paper demonstrates such specificities of Taiwanese transgender existence in relation to body- and subject-formations, in the hope to not only shed light on the actualities of trans efforts toward self-fashioning, but also to illuminate the increasing entanglement between trans self-construction and the evolving gender culture that saturates it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-242
Number of pages15
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Keywords

  • Body
  • Embodiment
  • Gender
  • Subject formation
  • Trans
  • Transgender
  • Transsexual

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