Date of Award

5-15-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

Sociology

Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Mann, Susan

Second Advisor

Compton, D'Lane

Third Advisor

Luft, Rachel

Abstract

This thesis uses a combination of vignettes and interviews to explore social approval of cosmetic and sexual reassignment surgeries as a means of studying sex and gender in contemporary society. It draws from poststructuralist, queer, symbolic interactionist and intersectionality theories. This study found that social approval was higher for normative surgeries than for non-normative surgeries. The main themes that emerged in regard to social approval were respondents‘ religious beliefs, their social distance from a person undergoing surgery, their concerns with possible risks or complications, and their views on an individual‘s right to control their own body. Underlying the vast majority of the responses was an essentialist view of sex that influenced how participants‘ viewed the various surgeries.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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