Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Amanda Grzyb
Employing a Foucauldian discourse analysis, this thesis examines knowledge produced about transsexuality and sex reassignment surgery (SRS) through the fields of medical, legal and news texts. I explore key shifts in Western feminist, queer and trans approaches to sex/gender and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual o f Mental Disorders’ pathologization of gender-variance in the Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis. I also undertake a case study of trans marriages prior to Bill C-38, and the Ontario Vital Statistics Act’s reliance on medical proof in change of sex designation requests. Finally, I analyze seventy-seven texts from The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, National Post and Toronto Sun spanning the 11-years (1998-2008) during which SRS was not funded in Ontario. The news coverage employs expert knowledge in legitimizing and de- legitimizing transsexuality and SRS. Overall, all three fields rely on cisnormative patterns of knowledge production and reflect the privilege granted to cissexuals in Canadian society.
Afsahi, Nazgol, "A Discourse Analysis of Transsexuality through Three Fields: Expert Knowledges in Legal. Medical and News Texts" (2010). Digitized Theses. 3673.