Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Cradock, Gerald

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics, Social sciences, Identity, Kimberly nixon, Language, Law, Queer theory, Vagueness

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In 1995 Kimberly Nixon, a transsexual woman, attempted to become a peer counsellor at Vancouver Rape Relief Society. Based on that organization's restrictive definition of the term `woman,' she was denied this opportunity based on her previous male identity. This thesis looks at the use of language in identity and category construction, using the Nixon case to ground theoretical work. It also uses the concept of vagueness to investigate the nature of categorical boundaries, and queer theory to propose possible solutions to problems of identity labelling.

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