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Toward Academic Gender Justice: Trans Faculty Reconceptualizing Gender Equity

by Erich N. Pitcher - 2020

Context: Despite debate about the status of women faculty within U.S. universities, the discourse of gender equity often follows genderist logics (e.g., only two genders).

Focus of Study: I draw on the perspectives of ten trans faculty to reconceptualize gender equity. Using critical trans politics, I co-create an academic gender justice framework through three readings of the data. Notions of academic gender justice will improve the livability of transgender academics’ lives.

Research Design: In the larger qualitative study from which these data were derived, I engaged narrative inquiry. This study used a thinking-with-theory analytical approach, and I co-theorized with participants to develop five tenets.

Findings: I offer five tenets: Conceptualizing gender as multifaceted, the mutual constitution of social identities with multiplicative effects, centrality of trans individuals naming the conditions of their oppression, the salience of multiple systems of oppression within participants’ experiences, and the importance of resisting dominant norms to improve workplace conditions for trans faculty.

Conclusions: Higher-education leaders should engage the core tenets of academic gender justice in an effort to build more equitable and just institutional cultures for trans academics. Rethinking policy through the lens of academic gender justice is also needed.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 122 Number 8, 2020, p. 1-30
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23344, Date Accessed: 1/20/2021 8:19:58 PM

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About the Author
  • Erich Pitcher
    Oregon State University
    E-mail Author
    ERICH N. PITCHER, Ph.D., is an instructor of Adult & Higher Education at Oregon State University. Erich’s research uplifts the voices of racially, sexually, and gender minoritized populations and imagines more just futures for marginalized groups in higher education. In work grounded in organizational and critical perspectives, Erich has examined how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and asexual (LGBTQQA) students successfully navigate higher education environments, as well as how trans academics’ experiences are shaped by organizations.
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