oru.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Transsexuality in Contemporary Iran: Legal and Social Misrecognition
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (gender studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1464-8874
2016 (English)In: Feminist Legal Studies, ISSN 0966-3622, E-ISSN 1572-8455, Vol. 24, no 3, p. 249-272Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sex change surgery has been practised in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa in 1982. Therefore, a medical and judicial process of transition has been regulated accordingly. However, this has not resulted in either the legalization of sex change surgery, nor in the recognition of transsexual identity within Iranian substantive law. Sex change surgery is allowed through Islamic law, rather than substantive law, in response to the existing social facts and norms, on the one hand, and structural cooperation with medical system, on the other. In this article, I argue that the Iranian heteronormative law’s understanding of transsexuality has amounted to the misrecognition of trans persons’ status within law and society. Using semi structured interviews, intersectional content analysis, and feminist methodologies, the findings indicate that transsexual bodies have gained meaning through religious and medical discourses within a framework of power relations, and that Iranian transsexual persons have reconstructed and redefined gender and gender relations in a way that informs their understanding of gender and sexuality beyond the existing Islamic legal and social norms. Moreover, intersectional analysis of the interviews demonstrates how the legal misrecognition of transsexuality creates space for a discourse which in itself leads to the misrecognition of other gendered identities, such as homosexuals and transwomen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. Vol. 24, no 3, p. 249-272
Keywords [en]
Fatwa; Iranian law; Misrecognition; Sex change surgery; Society; Transsexuality; Trans
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53408DOI: 10.1007/s10691-016-9332-xISI: 000391457600002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84992740778OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53408DiVA, id: diva2:1044667
Projects
Transsexuality in Iran: Socio-legal studies of policies and practices
Note

Funding Agencies:

Lund University

Gender Studies Department in Örebro University

Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2020-05-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Trans and Sex Change in Contemporary Iran: A Socio-Legal Study of Gendered Policies and Practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trans and Sex Change in Contemporary Iran: A Socio-Legal Study of Gendered Policies and Practices
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a result of a qualitative study that investigates the socio-legal status of trans persons who undergo sex-change surgery in contemporary Iran. It examines how social practices of gender shape the lives of trans men and trans women in Iranian society. Further, it explores the ‘legality’ and ‘illegality’ of sex change under shi’a Islamic jurisprudence and examines how the interplay between the medical and the judicial systems affects the social and legal status of trans people in Iran.

The thesis uses two sets of materials: interviews and documents. Fortytwo interviews with 39 people were conducted, including trans people, trans activists, lawyers, medical professionals and a jurist in Iran. The majority of the interviews were carried out face-to-face in Iran during two fieldtrips in 2014 and 2015. A set of ten telephone interviews were also completed with trans people living in Iran in 2017. Using the concept of (mis)recognition developed by Nancy Fraser, the thesis argues that the lack of legal legislation, along with the plurality of Islamic legal opinions (fatwas) on sex change and the status of trans people, have resulted in arbitrary decision-making by medical and legal professionals (e.g. surgeons and judges). It further shows that while the dominant view on medicalisation of trans people misrecognises their status within lawand society, it nevertheless helps them to negotiate a liveable life. Drawing on the work of Raewyn Connell, the thesis explains how trans people’s process of social embodiment involves individual, medical and legal transition in which the surgery is only a part.

The thesis shows how trans activism in Iran is shaped around the discourse of needs rather than that of human rights. Furthermore, the thesis problematises the strong influence of homonormativity and some Second Wave feminist thinking among Iranian feminists who consider sex-change surgery a patriarchal force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2020. p. 159
Series
Örebro Studies in Gender Research ; 5
Keywords
Embodiment, Feminist politics, Gender/sex, Iranian legal system, Islamic law, Misrecognition, Practices, Sex change, Shi’a jurisprudence, Trans men, Trans women
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-80267 (URN)978-91-7529-337-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-06-04, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Biografen, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2020-05-05Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Authority records BETA

Saeidzadeh, Zara

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Saeidzadeh, Zara
By organisation
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
In the same journal
Feminist Legal Studies
Gender Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 482 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf