Project Process Revisited

Upon reflection and after sharing my initial project plan with my classmates I’ve began to narrow down my topic of investigation. Instead of questioning whether there is a right or wrong body image referring to transgender, which my classmates found somewhat boring; a question that has been regurgitated over and over, I will now explore ideas surrounding gender identity. I will investigate what defines gender identity, what makes identity definitive and who dictates identity. Is it our genitals? Is it our role within society? Is it another person’s perspective of us? I will focus on the older generation of transsexuals in the U.K, which will be central to my project and used to explore ideas if identity and gender.  I feel the older generation is a less covered issue and one, which will be most fitting for my chosen subject of exploration: gender identity. Everything I investigate will radiate from transgender and transsexualism.

I’m still working on the process and have a lot of questions that I still need to answer but here’s a second attempt at my project process!

Project Outline Revisited

Topic-What?

I want to explore ideas surrounding gender identity and what defines this focusing on the older generation of people in the U.K who are transgender and transsexual.

Issues-Why? So What?

I want to explore the different notions of what defines a person’s gender identity using transgender/transsexuals as a case study. I feel the older generation of transgender or transsexual people in the U.K are a minority and rarely heard. I’ve seen numerous interviews and documentaries about the younger more beautiful generation of transgender and transsexuals but rarely the older people. I also haven’t seen much about it within the U.K. This project could be a chance for those within the U.K to tell their story and be heard. Focusing ideas surrounding identity is also something less predictable compared to exploring ideas around body image. Overall, I want to explore ideas of identity and transgender because they are quite unique topics which compliment each other, bringing to light or rather questioning what really makes us human and who we are.

Organization-How? How can I make this happen?

Research, read-I will need to find books, articles, journals, websites, individuals and so on who explore notions of identity, gender and transsexualism.

Find subjects-I want to learn from those who have experienced identity issues first hand to gage a better understanding as to what it is that dictates gender and identity.

Communicate and build relationships with subjects-This will ensure a sense of trustworthiness in both my subjects and viewers. It will enable me to tell their story and thoughts more effectively.

The Specific Topic of Investigation

  • Older generation of transgender and transsexuals in the U.K
  • The process and transformation of trans people
  • Gender development
  • The causes of transgender-science/biology/social/nature/nurture
  • Gender roles in society/culture/history
  • Ideas of identity/gender-personas/super egos/social         conforms/society/psychological aspects
  • What defines gender identity?

Key Ideas

  • Older generation of transgender and transsexuals
  • Social ideas surrounding identity, gender and roles
  • The differences between sexuality and gender
  • Personas and super egos
  • Science
  • Gender development
  • Gender identity disorders-causes, childhood

Edges of my project:

What’s changed?

People have become more open minded about transgender people so will this topic be outdated?

What is affecting the/my world?

How identity is defined within society, culture and our own psyches.

What is being talked about in my subject?

Books that are investigating similar issues:

  • ‘Lenses of Gender’ Sandra Lipsitz Bem
  • ‘Sex Differences In Social Behaviour: a Social Role Interpretation’ Alice H. Eagley

What is being ignored?

The older ‘regular’ generation of people in Britain who are classed transgender and transsexual.

What is it not about?

Ethics, morals and values…I hope to avoid all these things! I don’t want to explore whether being transgender or transsexual is right, rather hear about their stories, the transitions and ideas around identity and gender.

What can I get access to? What can I answer with my resources?

  • Contact and gather information and stories from real people through friends, family, social networks, groups, blogs, email, twitter and Facebook.
  • Use images/family photographs of subjects, which are not images I took.
  • Gather books, journals, and archives from the Library on the topic of transgender/transsexuals/identity/social roles/gender

Specification of Research Questions:

What I need to find out to answer my question/problem?

Who to ask and what would I ask them?/Has someone answered part of this? Where? 

What is vital to know?

How can I demonstrate xxx?

Key concepts:

What Idea/s does my project hang on?

Who has written /spoken about shown us something about this idea ?

Are there problems with this idea  – have people challenged it? Who?   

4 References

Chafetz, J.S. (1974). Masculine/Feminine or Human? London: F.E.Peocock Publishers, Inc. . p1-

Eagly, A H. (1987). Sex Differences: In Social Behaviour: a Social Role Interpretation. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. p1-.

Lipsitz Bem, S. (1993). Chapter 4 Gender Polarization . In: Lipsitz Bem, S The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexually Inequality. Yale University: Yale University. pg 80-132

Lipsitz Bem, S. (1993). Chapter 5 The Construction of Gender. In: Lipsitz Bem, S The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexually Inequality. Yale University: Yale University. pg 133-175

Cohen-Kettenis, P.T and Gooren, L.J.G . (1999). Transsexualism: A review of etiology, diagnosis and treatment . Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Volume 46 (Issue 4), p315-333.

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