Towards a Sociology of Transgendered Bodies

Richard Ekins, Dave King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The articulation of a generic social process of ‘body femaling’ presented in Ekins (1993) and elaborated in Ekins (1997) is further developed in this article to provide a conceptual framework for a sociology of trans‐gendered bodies. Transgendering refers both to the idea of moving across (transferring) from one pre‐existing gender category to another (either temporarily or permanently), and to the idea of transcending or living ‘beyond gender’ altogether. Following Plummer’s (1995) work on sexual stories, we distinguish a number of contemporary transgendering body stories which we consider in terms of four major modes or styles of body transgendering: those we identify as ‘migrating’, ‘oscillating’, ‘erasing’ and ‘transcending’. We give illustrative examples of each mode with reference to the binary male/female divide, the interrelations between sex, sexuality and gender, and the interrelations between the four main sub‐processes of transgendering, which we identify as ‘substituting’, ‘concealing’, ‘implying’ and ‘redefining’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-602
Number of pages23
JournalThe Sociological Review
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1999


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