Oh Yeah - Is she a he-she?': Female to male Transgendered pupils in the formal and informal cultures of an English Secondary School

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Recent research suggests that trans* pupils are subject to much trans-exclusionary practice in schools and find there is little positive change in attitudes, despite statutory requirements and greater recognition of trans* identities. This paper explores the ways in which two female to male trans* pupils in a London girls’ school were excluded in ways that were the result of both formal and informal policies, practices and cultures. First, I explore the use of school space, arguing that this was policed using processes of internment, refusal of recognition and bullying. This was implemented officially by the school and in pupil cultures. Second, these pupils also exposed how curriculum subjects are discursively cisgendered in schools, such that through their practices they inscribe gendered meanings on the body of the learner. Both pupils, therefore, had to negotiate learning gender conterminously with academic learning. Finally, I observe how staff saw these pupils as either abused or abusing. This research has implications for supporting trans* pupils in schools now.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPedagogy, Culture and Society
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016

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