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Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category Paperback – August 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0822338697 ISBN-10: 0822338696

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822338696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822338697
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“David Valentine had the good fortune to be conducting anthropological fieldwork in New York at the precise moment when a new term, ‘transgender,’ was first coming into widespread use. Now we have the good fortune of sharing his ethnographic insight into this new category’s emergence. Imagining Transgender offers a provocative on-the-ground account of this important shift in Western notions of gender identity and sexuality. The book is sure to stir debate in the emerging field of transgender studies, as well as in other disciplines that concern themselves with this timely topic.”—Susan Stryker, coeditor of The Transgender Studies Reader

“The definitive study that documents the rise and spread of ‘transgender’ as a category and a field of knowledge, activism, and power but also as a mechanism for disenfranchisement, discrimination, and violence. Deeply learned, wonderfully accessible, and ethnographically rich, this remarkable book sets a new benchmark not only for all future work on transgender but also for how we might think about gender, sexuality, identity, and politics more generally.”—Don Kulick, author of Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes

“There is a paucity of ethnographically based work on transgender, and David Valentine’s book is a major contribution not only ethnographically but also historically and theoretically. Valentine is concerned with a range of value and political questions, committed explicitly to humane positions without being ideological or propagandist.”—Esther Newton, author of Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas

About the Author

David Valentine is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William O. Beeman on May 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
David Valentine has already won severa; prizes for this book, and no wonder. His book is an astonishing look at the idea of transgender--as a category. Smug Americans msy think they know what transgender is, but as Professor Valentine unpacks this concept, the reader is treated to a myriad of meanings and nuances that show the amazing variety to be found in human gender. In looking at transgender, Valentine forces all readers to consider what normal gender definitions are. This healthy self-reflective exercise should help everyone to broaden their minds--and their categories. It is beautifully written, and hard to lay down once started. Though I am a colleague of the author, I am no less impressed by this work.
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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alistair Boddy-Evans on October 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you're intrigued about people and society, how different groups form, how identity is shaped and created, read this. Anthropology isn't just about societies in the so-called Third World; it's about the so-called civilized world too, as Dr Valentine shows. Read it and be intrigued.
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