Queer mothers and daughters: the role of queer kinship in the everyday lives of trans sex worker women in Istanbul
Çalışkan, Dilara (2014) Queer mothers and daughters: the role of queer kinship in the everyday lives of trans sex worker women in Istanbul. [Thesis]
This thesis focuses on the queer kinship experiences of trans sex worker women in Istanbul, Turkey. Based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews and participantobservation with individuals who have been part of a queer mother/daughter kinship relation, the research explores the role of queer kinship in everyday practice of trans lives, in exploring its connections to transphobia and heteronormativity. What is queer kinship? How has it developed? What are some of the meanings attached to it? In what ways is it destructive of heteronormativity and/or hegemonic family structures? What gets transmitted from mothers to daughters? Can we speak of a queer inter-generational transmission of memory and a queer postmemory as M. Hirsch conceptualizes? Departing from these questions, this research investigates the alternative forms of motherhood and daughterhood through J. Halberstam’s conceptualization of queer time and space and argues that queer kinship forms its own time zone in which normative understandings of terms such as “birth”, “generation” and “growing up” are deconstructed, and reconstructed. At the same time, this research points out the dynamics and practices in queer kinship that reproduce the binary structure of gender roles through gender reassignment process. The thesis argues that we can speak of a queer inter-generational transmission of knowledge and memory that constructs a collective identity, empowerment, and resistance against transphobic violence coming from state institutions and customers. The thesis aims to contribute to the existing literature on queer kinship and memory by exploring the everyday life practices of queer mothers and daughters among trans sex workers in Istanbul.
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