Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationPennsylvania, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9698
Approve DateOctober 5, 2018
Project TitleFranklin, Joshua B., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Childhood Gender Diversity and Transgender Medicine in Philadelphia, PA,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna
Preliminary abstract: As transgender and gender-nonconforming identities become more visible in medicine, policy, and the media, gender affirming medical care is increasingly seen as acceptable and necessary. Yet while childhood gender has long been the subject of clinical research, the impact of specialized medical care on young people and their families is poorly understood. Given the racialized and class-based inequalities in access to these dedicated medical services, the medical concept of gender identity is tied to a particular social context and may exclude important dimensions of many young people’s experiences. My project explores the changing landscape of childhood gender in the 21st century by conducting ethnographic research in Philadelphia, PA with transgender and gender-nonconforming young people and their families. I will follow young people who are in care at a specialized pediatric gender identity clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as those who are not engaged in care, combining observations in clinical, home and community settings with person-centered interviews, discourse analysis, and an analysis of young people’s artistic works. In conjunction with interviews with clinicians and researchers, my project will document the ways in which young people’s identities and desires become visible in these clinical spaces and the limits of that visibility. Thus, by studying children’s own experiences and perspectives, my project aims to understand the complex ways in which they are transforming the cultural meaning of gender in the 21st century.