Review - Dan Irving's 'Gender Transition and Job In/Security'

Bullies and bad objects

How can we engage with vulnerable, exhausted, angry, and worn out populations to cultivate equitable socio-economic relations that values the contributions that all lives bring?

I was beyond thrilled to come across Dan Irving's 2017 article in Atlantis. In it, he includes the above question. He has also a great way of connecting gritty, everyday interactions to wider social or political relations. I appreciated that he wasn't out to make (downwardly mobile, aggrieved, exhausted, neurotic) bullies into bad objects, shaming them or putting them in their place, but instead tried to show how particular relations give rise to harmful everyday interactions. Aha!

Read his abstract below. Better yet, check out his article, "Gender Transition and Job In/Security: Trans* Un/der/employment Experiences and Labour Anxieties in Post-Fordist Society" (2017) here.

Abstract. Undergoing gender transition is a risky endeavor in these violent times. Transitioning signifies the affirmative of self and new beginnings; however, the extent to which transition can mark the start of a new life is framed by one’s social location vis-a-vis material power relations. Un(der)employment allows a glimpse into why particular bodies are rendered worthless. This article draws from my larger qualitative study addressing trans* un(der)employment in Ontario, British Columbia, and Washington State.

Oh, the above image, "Electrotherapy," was created by Rita Savarie and retrieved from the Museum of Health Care's online collection.