Publication in Sex Education

This article is the first one that includes data from my doctoral research. It is both exciting and a little scary to let out some this data into the world as I continue to work on my dissertation!

The article is entitled “‘I don’t care what’s under your clothes’: the discursive positioning of educators working with trans and gender-nonconforming students,” and here is the abstract:

This paper examines the meanings educators produce about their experiences working with trans and gender-nonconforming students, and the effects of this discursive process. In this paper, I draw on 62 interviews with school staff conducted in British Columbia to examine how educators understand their role in an institutional context (a school) that is shaped by systems of power that legitimise and enforce sexual and gender conformity. By drawing on the dominant narratives available to them, educators recounted their experiences through discursive resources that tend to distance them from the institutional systems of power they were operating within. Four specific discursive resources through which the educators’ experiences became intelligible are described: (1) relying on bullying discourses, (2) framing themselves as open-minded individuals, (3) emphasising external institutional obstacles and (4) acknowledging their complicity in systems of power. Through these discursive framings, the role that educators themselves play in shaping the field of legibility and legitimacy in schools is downplayed, thus limiting the potential to resist and displace existing systems of power and generate systemic transformations.

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