by Viviane K. Namaste - £25.50 University of Chicago Press (2000)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780226568102 | ISBN 10: 0226568105
Invisible Lives is the first scholarly study of transgendered people - cross-dressers, drag queens, and transexuals - and their everyday lives. Through combined theoretical and empirical study, Viviane K. Namaste argues that transgendered people are not so much produced by medicine or psychiatry as they are erased, or made invisible, in a variety of institutional and cultural settings.
Namaste begins her work by analyzing two theoretical perspectives on transgendered people - queer theory and the social sciences - displaying how neither of these has adequately addressed the issues most relevant to sex change: everything from employment to health care to identity papers. Namaste then examines some of the rhetorical and semiotic inscriptions of transgendered figures in culture, including studies of early punk and glam rock subcultures, to illustrate how the effacement of transgendered people is organized in different cultural sites. Invisible Lives concludes with new research on some of the day-to-day concerns of transgendered people, offering case studies in violence, health care, gender identity crimes, and the law.
"Viviane Namaste has written an important and timely book. By placing transgndered and transexual individuals at the centre of social analysis, Invisible Lives challenges theorists and researchers to rethink the field of sexuality studies. Further, by grounding her ideas in a rich ethnography of the lives of real people, this volume should prove immensely appealing to professors, students, and activists."
(Steven Seidman, author of 'Difference Troubles: Queering Social Theory and Sexual Politics)
(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)