Trans individuals are generally studied for what they have to say about gender norms or subversion thereof. Research on trans individuals also evaluates their relation to the medial protocol of sex reassignment as a system that often reifies those norms. The trans are typically described either as people who abide by the institutional rules or as ones resisting them. In reality, trans individuals’ relation to gender norms is neither dichotomous nor monolithic. Examining the case of sex reassignment, this article develops the notion of social space of gender and analyses its dynamics as well as the positions within it. Combining biographic interviews with quantitative survey data, it identifies three main registers of action and identification regarding gender: conformity, strategy, and engagement. These orientations vary according to sex, class, and biographic temporalities, but they also intertwine within each individual path.
- social space
- mixed methods