Att göra livet (över)levbart: Transpersoners ontiska, relationella och reflekterande arbete för att skapa minoritetsro och hantera utsatthet i vardagen




trans, levd erfarenhet, levbarhet, emotionellt arbete, minoritetsstress, mikroaggressioner, coping, hantering, kritisk psykologi, minoritetsro


Transgender people report significantly poorer mental health than cisgender people. In psychological research, these health disparities are explained by theories of minority stress and microaggressions, while other disciplines use theories on normativity, livability, affective work, world making and utopias. Such theories are seldom picked up by psychologists even though they could serve to help psychological research and practice improve mental health in transgender people.
The aim of this interview study was twofold. Empirically, it was to explore how 29 transgender people in Sweden (aged 17-63 years), experience and cope with vulnerability to make life survivable/livable. Analytically, psychological theories of minority stress, microaggressions and coping were put in conversation with theories of livability and emotional labor. Queer phenomenology was used to orient our analysis of the empirical material, as well as orient us theoretically, to find new ways of understanding transgender people’s vulnerability psychologically.
While participants’ negative experiences are interpreted as covered by theories on minority stress and microaggressions, these theories do not explain all nuances of the exposure. In addition, theories on coping do not fully capture the constantly ongoing work participants need to do to manage everyday situations. The analysis resulted in three themes. One theme describes the ontic work that participants do in response to existential challenges of not being recognized as a subject. Another theme visualizes the relational work that participants do to deal with subtle exposure in their everyday life, trying to relate to oneself and others simultaneously. The final theme shows that participants utilize reactive and agentic reflexivity to try to achieve minority peace and a livable life. We hope that this dialogue between psychology and gender studies can continue in a Swedish context to better serve transgender people’s livability.


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Tema: Levbarhet, motstånd och hopp