Non-conforming gender geographies: a longitudinal account of gender queerness in Scotland

Anderson, Grant (2019) Non-conforming gender geographies: a longitudinal account of gender queerness in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Transgender and non-binary politics in Scotland have been pushed to the fore of public consciousness through various public interest stories, awareness campaigns and political interventions. Recently, the Scottish Government’s public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (2004) questioned how a ‘third gender’ might be legally recognised: a move which would fundamentally alter the gender landscape in Scotland and the relationship between gendered citizens and the state. However, gender non-conformity – they myriad of ways in which individuals may deviate from standardised and cisnormative embodiments of male-masculinity and female-femininity – has much deeper roots in Scotland than is commonly thought. Gender transgression and non-conformity have played an important role in challenging hegemonic politics and socio-cultural boundaries across time and space. While the motivations behind gender non-conformity may have changed, it is important to investigate these gender transgressive histories, questioning how they influence gender non-conforming presents and futures.

Through empirically gathering a range of research material, including the testimonies of those who in some way identify as ‘gender non-conforming’, this thesis threads together a longitudinal account of gender non-conforming geographies in Scotland. Firstly, the thesis looks at the importance of the kilt and the pantomime – each with rich and culturally engrained histories – as vehicles through which to queer gender normativities, both in a historical and a contemporary sense. The thesis then explores how gender identity is articulated, spatialised and politicised within a contemporary Scotland, focusing on the potentials and pitfalls of identity formation within specific political frameworks. Next, the thesis considers how these diversifying gender identities are materially expressed, shedding light on how participants negotiate binary understandings of gender, and how gender expression changes across space from one context/site to another. Finally, this thesis asks how binary gender ontologies are practically and socially challenged, and how these are articulated through various non-conforming world-making geographies. Through these points of inquiry, this thesis begins to conceptually and empirically open up the potential for non-conforming gender geographies, giving insight into how gender is lived across space and place.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Queer geography, social geography, gender, transgender, non-binary, Scotland, gender history.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Funder's Name: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Supervisor's Name: Philo, Professor Chris
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Dr. Grant Anderson
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-72469
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 15:15
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 22:42
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.72469

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