Through Week 3’s seminar discussion we found that a uniting topic in our areas of interest was the ways in which the identity is socialized in children, leading us to devise our research question:
Conflict between normative and non-normative identities through childhood.
The nature of the conflict taken as our focus is therefore between dominant and marginal cultural scripts and narratives. We brainstormed contemporary examples of where this conflict can be identified in order to find a case study for our presentation, and the four possibilities that seemed most appropriate were
- Disney and childhood
- Charlottesville and toxic masculinity
- Genderquake television show
- Mermaids (a charity devoted to helping trans children come into their identity and fund transitioning)
While this method of brainstorming proved useful in gaining a wide perspective on the possible case studies available to us, in Week 4’s seminar we decided to analyse the applicability of each case study to our relevant major disciplines in order to keep our research succinct. A table comparing the relevance of our case studies can be found here: <https://emckclac-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/r/personal/k1626863_kcl_ac_uk/_layouts/15/Doc.aspx?sourcedoc=%7BF04D80EA-9799-41E3-A0D0-B99EF2380EFD%7D&file=List%20of%20case%20studies%20with%20relevance%20to%20discipline.docx&action=default&mobileredirect=true>
Charlottesville and Mermaids were relevant to all three disciplines making them the forerunners for our research. We decided that since mermaids related to the topic of childhood more, trans childhood should be our primary research area.
Zack and I attended a talk on the subjectivity of trans children given by Gender Studies scholar Jacob Breslow, titled ‘Troubling Trans Precocity: Narratives of Trans Childhood and the Temporalities of Sexuation’ which entailed ‘drawing upon media representations of trans children, a court case involving a six-year old trans girl, and narratives of trans childhood’. The talk provided an insight into how children, trans or otherwise, become sites of political normalization at the hands of adults through a process of psychological projection. Zack suggested watching a documentary on Netflix called ‘Growing Up Coy’, which follows the same court case detailed in the talk.
After streamlining our topic we decided that for Week 5 we would each look at the topic of trans childhood through the lens of our major discipline, looking at trans legislation for politics, international differences in cultural approaches to trans rights for geography, and more normative and identity-based discussions for English.