Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0822338697
ISBN-10: 0822338696
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.18
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Buy new
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, August 30, 2007
"Please retry"
$18.67 $6.45
More Buying Choices
26 New from $18.67 34 Used from $6.45
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

InterDesign Brand Store Awareness Rent Textbooks
$22.63 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 18 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category + Transgender History (Seal Studies) + Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
Price for all three: $45.49

Buy the selected items together

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

Imagining Transgender proceeds through sophisticated and multilayered analysis. It offers a new way to approach gender and the institutions that name and manage it, and this is a provocative contribution. . . . Scholars will find this readable and engaging book well worth their time, as it will allow them to develop a nuanced understanding of transgender and its social ramifications.”
(Anne Enke, NWSA Journal)

“David Valentine’s Imagining Transgender is a well-written and well-executed ethnography that is able to balance a critical take on the category of transgender while not denigrating those most affected by rethinking the term. . . . Imagining Transgender is an example of what we as ethnographers should be doing and is a must read not only for those in transgender studies, gay and lesbian studies, or queer studies, but throughout the field of anthropology.”
(Anne Rohlman, Journal of Homosexuality)

“Valentine’s writing manages to be both theoretically insightful and accessible. Whether musing on his bicycle as he travels between fieldwork sites of the street and the drag ball, or reflecting on conversations with clients and staff at GIP, Valentine presents a humorous, touching and very relevant political tale of the state of play of ‘transgender’. This is an extremely valuable contribution to work on gender and sexual diversities, and, importantly, a very enjoyable read.”
(Sally Hines, Sexualities)

“Valentine. . . does an excellent job in showing just how messy the category ‘transgender’ is; how it was born of a variety of discursive practices; how those discursive practices had little to do with the lived realities of many of the people the term ‘transgender’ claims to represent; and how taking the time to think critically about transgender as a category can create space, literal and symbolic, for those whose lives most thoroughly blur the neat distinctions between some of the foundational categories of our time: male/female, straight/gay, represented/not represented.”
(Laurie Essig, American Journal of Sociology)

About the Author

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


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822338696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822338697
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 7 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
This book gives an interesting look into a world that few people are knowledgable about. In it, Valentine simply shatters any preconceived notions about the transgender community. Instead, Valentine shows just how complex the transgender community is. Dealing with the issue of category and how it's defined, you get to witness the complexity of identity throughout the book. Valentine uses his notes from support groups, parties and many other functions he attended. I would recommend this book to any person interested in dealing with how identities or categories are formed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the book was written earlier on and centered on a community that was once more oppressed than it is now currently, the book does an astounding job of portraying the intermingling LGBTQ communities that developed, and the types of social bubbles within the larger structure. This book did its job in the end and educated me on the LGBTQ community and how it certainly came to be.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
Valentine puts the reader into his shoes as he wriggles his way into the topic of Transgender. He has an excellent body of people to work worth and amazing insight into the everyday life of those society would deem trans. However, the way he uses this knowledge is not always morally correct or understandable to the reader. Good book overall though.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category
This item: Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category
Price: $22.63
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: faye ginsburg