The body has come to provide a central site for theory and debate from social theory to cultural studies. This important volume looks beyond psychologyÆs traditional biological body to explore what insights can be gained from recent theories of embodiment. Taking the body as inscribed by social and disciplinary practices, leading contributors explore a wide range of psychological topics in new and challenging ways. Questions surrounding health, gender, history, and culture are addressed in contexts such as the psychology of pain, the treatment of anorexia nervosa, and psychologyÆs relationship to transgender activists. The Body and Psychology brings cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear on the psychological body and, in the process, succeeds in drawing attention to the many embodied qualities of its subject matter. This book will make compelling reading for students and academics in psychology, sociology, and health and cultural studies.
Chapter 7: Situated Knowledges of Personal Embodiment: Transgender Activists' and Psychological Theorists' Perspectives on ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’
Situated Knowledges of Personal Embodiment: Transgender Activists' and Psychological Theorists' Perspectives on ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’
Abstract. Academic psychologists’ treatment of ‘sex’ as an ahistorical, pretheoretical notion in theories of ‘gender’ is compared and contrasted with knowledge produced by persons whose own gendered embodiment is outside binary gender/sex categories and whose moral agency is erased by theories depicting them as exceptions to a binary-based scheme. This latter knowledge, emerging from an activist community's reflections on its own personal/political praxis in relation to dominant social institutions and ideologies, has selectively incorporated, challenged and transformed gender/sex discourses in significant segments of medicine and academic disciplines other than psychology. Psychological theories continue to reproduce binary ...