We now have a fully funded Phd studentship opportunity in the CTSG for a PGR working on Gender diverse youth and citizen equality. The deadline is 14 March 2022. For full details and how to apply click here

About the project:

Funded PhD: Gender diverse youth and citizen equality

Project in brief

This project, situated in the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender, investigates the impact of the evolving resistance to trans human rights in the UK on trans youth, by analysing how mainstream and social media has informed such resistance and what the effects of media ambivalence around trans lives and rights are on equalities policy interpretation.

It also investigates how current public discourse is experienced by trans young people themselves. Via an interdisciplinary, youth-centred and community engaged approach the project will produce new knowledge on the real-life impact of resistance to trans-rights on young trans people’s everyday lives.

In the UK, there is intensifying anti-trans rhetoric in media discourses and major actors within the media industry, such as the BBC, have been questioned on their coverage of transgender issues and resistance to transgender rights, whilst defending such reporting as a means of fulfilling their impartiality (Waterson 2021).

Research has highlighted that media discourses have material and emotional impacts on the lives of vulnerable people. Current public moral panic and governmental ambivalence around trans existence and inclusion has real impact on the liveability of trans and gender diverse people, particularly young people. For example, organisations are forming that seek to actively resist trans inclusion and also UK universities have been implicated in perceived conflicts around freedom of speech and trans rights, with direct implications on trans students attending or aspiring to study at university.

This project seeks to analyse how media discourse across both print, broadcast and social media and everyday resistance to trans rights are experienced by trans young people themselves, to produce a better understanding of the real-life impact of resistance to GRA (Gender Recognition Act) reform and trans rights on young trans people’s everyday lives, their sense of self, ontological security and their imaginations of their futures.

We welcome applications that address these issues through youth-centred and community engaged approaches, supported by the inclusive research practice expertise of the Centre of Transforming Sexuality and Gender (CTSG).

The applicant’s proposed project could critically examine aspects such as trans youth’s everyday resistances to anti-trans rhetoric; the impact of media representation on their imaginations of the futures, liveability, hope/hopefulness and/or community resilience; or the impact of media discourse on policy and gender legislation interpretation across organisations that engage with young people (education, health, leisure).

This project is based in the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender (CTSG) and aligns with the centre’s areas of expertise on gender, sexuality and social change and its aim to promote gender inclusive, anti-racist research; to build research capacity in marginalised groups and produce cutting edge community-facing research on civic issues, health and well-being.

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, at the intersections of media studies, gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, sociology, social policy and human geography, and projects using a trans/feminist/queer theoretical framework.

The project can draw on a range of concepts but prioritises the lived experiences of trans people as a response to the current socio-political conditions in the UK. The project may also consider current global scale politics around equalities and inclusion.

The project may use a combination of methods, including but not exclusive to, textual and visual media analysis, interviews, focus groups, diaries, netnography, creative and/or participatory methods.

We particularly encourage applications from groups that are currently underrepresented in HE: i.e. students from minority ethnic groups; and gender and sexuality minority groups (LGBTQ+).