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The Online 'othering' of transgendering and non-binary people

Colliver, B. and Coyle, A. and Silvestri, M. (2019) The Online 'othering' of transgendering and non-binary people. In: Lumsden, K. and Harmer, E., eds. Online othering: exploring the dark side of the web. Palgrave Macmillan. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:66552)

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In this chapter we provide an exposition and critical analysis of some ways in which transgender people are ‘othered’ online and attempts to resist or challenge this. This is achieved through the discursive analysis of 1756 online comments made in response to ten YouTube videos concerning ‘gender neutral toilets’. Three themes were developed: ‘Gender neutral toilets as sites of sexual danger’; ‘Claiming victimhood: Gender neutral toilets as undermining the rights of cisgender people’; and ‘The delegitimisation and othering of transgender people’. The theme on delegitimisation and othering is elaborated in detail. It consists of subthemes concerning the invocation of nature and biology to construct transgender people as challenging the given order; the mobilisation of religious and moral values and norms; the delegitimisation of transgender people by constructing them as psychopathological; and the construction of transgenderism as a ‘modern trend’ created by media and social media. The discursive resources used in othering transgender people overlap with those that have long been used in the offline denigration of sexual minority groups. We conclude that sexual and gender non-conformity is responded to with a limited set of tropes that delegitimise and other non-conforming people in culturally recognisable ways. We note that the framing of effective resistance to anti-transgender, othering online talk is not straightforward but calls for creative, evidence-based, contextually-informed discursive labour.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Delegitimisation, Discourse Analysis, Gender Neutral Toilets, Othering, Transgender
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Criminology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Depositing User: Marisa Silvestri
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2018 12:45 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 20:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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