Klein, Thamar ORCID: 0000-0002-4815-5031 (2013). Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Access Inequalities to Medical Technologies Faced by Transgendered South Africans. Technology & Innovation, 15 (2). pp. 165-179. Cognizant Communication Corporation. ISSN 1949-8241

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This article explores the inventiveness of transgendered South Africans in the face of a state-sanctioned gender binary. Not only are citizens legally required to identify as either male or female (there is no choice of a legal additional gender, as there is in some other countries), but society also coerces them to present visually as distinctly female or male. People with ambiguous looks and identities may find their lives at risk and are massively exposed to hate crimes, intimidation, and harassment, as well as discrimination. The necessity of being visibly positioned within the gender binary, in conjunction with inequalities in access to those medical technologies that may offer a route to unambiguous physical appearance, call forth a creative inventiveness. The article illustrates how, due to the complex inter-sectionality (the ways in which different social partitions of class, religion, ethnicity, skin color, and income are entangled) of experiences, identities, access to medical technologies, and inventive strategies of transgendered citizens may be widely divergent. Keeping the diversity of South African trans* citizens in mind, the following questions are addressed: What medical technologies are available, and how do those citizens who are excluded from accessing specific technologies invent strategies to deal with the necessity of fitting (at least visually) into the prescribed two-gender system?

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Klein, Thamartklein11@uni-koeln.deorcid.org/0000-0002-4815-503195516272
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-466539
DOI: 10.3727/194982413X13650843069077
Journal or Publication Title: Technology & Innovation
Volume: 15
Number: 2
Page Range: pp. 165-179
Date: 2013
Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corporation
ISSN: 1949-8241
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Erziehungs- und Sozialwissenschaften > Institut für vergleichende Bildungsforschung und Sozialwissenschaften
Subjects: Social sciences
Customs, etiquette, folklore
Medical sciences Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Access inequalities; Medical technologies; South Africa; Transexuality; TransgenderEnglish
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/46653


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