Re-visioning family : A photovoice project with transgenders and their families in Hawai'i

Ikeda-Vogel, Linda L.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
This project begins to address this inattention through inquiry of transgenders with regard to family, at the same time contextualizing some of the larger issues facing this population. This is accomplished theoretically through integration of constructs from critical consciousness, structuration theory, feminist standpoint theories, and culturally anchored intervention research. Methodologically, this is achieved through the use of photovoice----a participatory research strategy involving the provision of cameras, not to professionals or specialists, but to members of the community being studied.
This project is an exploration of local transgenders and their relationships to family. This seemed necessary given the misunderstanding, fear, and negative reaction towards transgenders, despite the continued evolution of professional and public views. This situation has resulted in attention to matters of illness and disease----e.g., Gender Identity Disorder and HIV/AIDS----to the exclusion of those of wellness or wellbeing; inadequate and ghettoized services for transgenders and other sexual minorities; and misunderstanding about and neglect of the role and significance of family.
This project, then, relied on photographs, taken by 16 participants. All resided in Honolulu, self-identified as transgender, and were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander mixed. Their photographs served as springboards for narratives, which were collected during a series of four focus groups. Narratives were transcribed verbatim and coded both theoretically and by way of an emic approach (in vivo). Results revealed biological; adopted or hanai; chosen, drag, or work-related; and blended family forms. Data were conceptualized as belonging to one of two main domains----kinship or collectivity, and melancholia (trauma, grief, and hardship, especially as these related to status loss). Melancholia was further understood as communal, serving to bring people together and provide a common understanding and shared mission (e.g., the sparing of the younger generation)----an understanding that linked the two main domains. An argument was made that attention to transgenders and their families is highly relevant to social work and to the discipline's promotion of social justice, and that social workers would do well to allow for, if not appreciate, transgender expression----on the level of the individual as well as family.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves xxx-xxx).
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195 leaves, bound 29 cm
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