Transnationalizing Gender, Medicine, and Standardization: Gender-Affirming Healthcare in Thailand and the United States
My dissertation research responds to calls to join postcolonial theory and sociology by using the case of gender-affirming healthcare (GAC) to study processes of conflict and collaboration between healthcare providers, activists, and patients.
Specifically, I study the conflict and collaboration that shapes the creation of standards and provision of care for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people in Thailand and the U.S. GAC generally refers to the assemblage of medical and mental health services that TGNC individuals may choose to affirm their gender identity, including counseling, feminizing or masculinizing hormone therapy, or surgical procedures such as gender confirmation surgery (GCS).
In recent years, healthcare providers, activists, and patients have engaged in debates about standardized clinical practice guidelines governing GAC that center around three sets of tensions: the first set of tensions, which exists between guidelines and practice, is shaped by tensions between professional and lay expertise, as well as tensions between local and global. A main goal of my dissertation is to show how the synthesis of postcolonial theory with science, technology, and medicine studies (STMS) and gender and sexuality studies can shed new light on these tensions, which are commonly debated separately in these fields, and contribute to a global sociology that de-centers the United States.
National Science Foundation; Graduate Research Fellowship Program (2018-2023)
Sexualities Project at Northwestern; Summer Research Grant (2019) and Dissertation Fellowship (2020-2021)
Dispute Resolution Research Center at Northwestern University; Dissertation Research Grant (2020-2021)
Kathoey Identity and Double Consciousness (2017)
This research examined how the Du Boisian concept of double consciousness can help explain key processes of self-formation for kathoey in Thailand (GNC individuals with a feminine gender presentation). The research is based on the argument that the marginalization of Du Bois within the sociological canon has negatively impacted the field’s ability to theorize self-formation in relation to other systems of oppression, such as cisnormativity, and self-formation beyond the Atlantic World. My publication in Social Problems (2021) develops a theory of “paired double consciousness,” which argues that cisnormative and neocolonial oppression lead kathoey to experience two veils. The first veil divides self-formation between kathoey and dominant cisgender worlds within Thai society to produce “gender double consciousness.” The second veil divides self-formation between kathoey and dominant transgender worlds within a global community, which creates “transnational double consciousness.”
Buffett Institute for Global Studies; Graduate Student Dissertation Research Travel Award (2017)
Sexualities Project at Northwestern; Summer Research Grant (2017)