Passing as Experts in Trans Medicine

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 4:30pm
Event Location: 
704 Jefferson Building
Washington Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

stef shuster is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Appalachian State University. Before joining the faculty at App State, shuster was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University. shuster earned their Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Iowa with a certificate in Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies and was also an Obermann Graduate Fellow.

Much of their current research builds upon the idea of “evidence” as a social artifact. Across their projects, they consider who constructs evidence, how evidence confers authority to individuals and groups, and how it is mobilized in institutional and social contexts. shuster engages these questions of evidence in three domains including: 1) how medical providers negotiate and construct evidence to make medical decisions within uncertain terrains; 2) how social movement actors use evidence to make claims about social issues; and 3) the evidence of experience in interactions and how language regulates subjugated groups.

They are currently working on a book project, Treating Gender: Transgender Medicine and Uncertain Expertise, which asks: How do providers medically treat a gender identity and not a biomedical illness? And, how do historical, cultural, and social contexts shape providers' perspectives of their work in trans medicine? Treating Gender shows that in trying to make medical decisions in the treatment of gender, the gender identity component of trans healthcare raises a distinct set of concerns for providers, as many remain uncertain about how to medically treat an identity, and calls into question their expertise as medical professionals.