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Accepted Paper:

Transgender lives and the means of social control: the case of Poland  
Maria Debinska (Polish Academy of Sciences)

Paper long abstract:

Transgender people in Poland constitute a relatively new minority group. Before 1989 transsexualism and other kinds of gender identity dysphoria had been treated as a form of schizophrenia. The legislative changes introduced so far allow transsexual individuals to undergo sex reassignment surgery but at the same time subordinate them to stringent state and medical control. Many issues, such as parental rights or divorce, have not been solved yet. On the other hand, there has been recently a rise in social and political activity of transgender groups, who are struggling for some essential legislative changes. My paper examines how these activities relate to personal views and experiences of transgender individuals. What motivates them to undertake political actions and how these motivations relate to wider social processes of negotiation of gender relations in Poland. The analysis is based on the collection of transgender life stories gathered during the research process.

Panel W113
Postsocialist Eastern Europe: social transformations and crises in personal biographies
  Session 1