Negotiating the Boundaries of Sexed Identities: the Status of Transsexuals in Turkey
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This thesis analyzes the influence of ideological institutions, specifically those of psychology, religion, and the law in the formation and maintenance of categories of sexed identity (i.e. male and female). Based on past theorist works this project is built on the notion that these institutions serve as producers of knowledge and that they emphasize the delineation between normal and abnormal, right and wrong, moral and immoral, and true and false. These structures then create and enforce naturalized notions of sexed identity within the social realm. In order to explore this, this project presents discursive and textual analyses of legal, psychological, and religious texts pertaining to the status of transsexuals in Turkey. The textual analysis focuses on how each of these documents explicitly defines male and female, and sex and gender. The discursive analysis examines the relationship between the definitions and social reproduction of sex identities between the texts. The purpose of this project is to determine what definitions of male and female, and sex and gender are produced within and between the fields of psychology, the law, and religion in Turkey. It will do so by examining how major texts of each of these realms define male and female, sex and gender; examining the relationships between these definitions and the institutions; and finally it considers the implications of the definitions purported by them and how psychology, religion, and the law function in producing and reinforcing them.