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Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People

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Invisible Lives is the first scholarly study of transgendered people—cross-dressers, drag queens and transsexuals—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 clinics, and the law.

320 pages, Paperback

First published December 15, 2000

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Viviane Namaste

10 books15 followers

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5 stars
40 (32%)
4 stars
59 (47%)
3 stars
17 (13%)
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7 (5%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Scott.
357 reviews
May 27, 2008
The perfect book to wrench an undergraduate Gender Studies student's head out of masturbatory gender theory clouds. I admire Namaste's illustration of the material realities of trans/gendered experiences. This is a necessary counterpoint - and complement - to those poststructuralists who would have us believe that "gender doesn't matter," "everyone is trans" or "gender isn't real".
Profile Image for hmmm.
48 reviews1 follower
March 28, 2019
Bad world! This was very upsetting! I kept having to take breaks! Now I am mad at a bunch more stuff than I was before! Or it affirmed that I should be mad at it!! Extremely good book
Profile Image for Clio.
17 reviews12 followers
September 22, 2008
I loved the shit out of this book when I first read it. I was entrenched in social sciences literature and at the time it was refreshing to read a trans academic with so much shit to talk. I read it with my partner at the time and we never really could figure out how visibility and invisibility worked for her, what it meant to "erase" trans people, really. She urges literature on trans people to actually be about their everyday lives, but how "erasure" operates on a day-to-day level isn't clear in this text.
November 10, 2008
This profound book inspired me to write a paper on trans health care. I began thinking about what changes are needed in our culture in order to support the kind of care and attention specific to trans individuals in regards to health and wellness. My studies eventually led me to complete contract at Evergreen in 2004 on FTM transsexuals.
Profile Image for Josie Boyce.
Author 2 books12 followers
June 21, 2012
seminal book on trans issues, from a bit of a detached, but not dispassionate writer.
Profile Image for Remy.
157 reviews16 followers
February 23, 2016
pretty good but not much new to me
also, haven been written 16 years ago, the language is outdated. a newer edition would be great.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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