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Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2018
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An intimate portrait of a new generation of transmasculine individuals as they undergo gender transitions

Award-winning sociologist Arlene Stein takes us into the lives of four strangers who find themselves together in a sun-drenched surgeon’s office, having traveled to Florida from across the United States in order to masculinize their chests. Ben, Lucas, Parker, and Nadia wish to feel more comfortable in their bodies; three of them are also taking testosterone so that others recognize them as male. Following them over the course of a year, Stein shows how members of this young transgender generation, along with other gender dissidents, are refashioning their identities and challenging others’ conceptions of who they are. During a time of conservative resurgence, they do so despite great personal costs. 
Transgender men comprise a large, growing proportion of the trans population, yet they remain largely invisible. In this powerful, timely, and eye-opening account, Stein draws from dozens of interviews with transgender people and their friends and families, as well as with activists and medical and psychological experts. Unbound documents the varied ways younger trans men see themselves and how they are changing our understanding of what it means to be male and female in America.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/05/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101972502
ASIN:
B075HY2VRF

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APA Citation (style guide)

Arlene Stein. (2018). Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Arlene Stein. 2018. Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Arlene Stein, Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Arlene Stein. Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: ARLENE STEIN is a professor of sociology at Rutgers University and director of the Institute for Research on Women. The author of six books, she received the Ruth Benedict Prize for her book The Stranger Next Door. Stein has written for The Nation, Jacobin, and The New Inquiry, among other publications. She lives in New Jersey.
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imprint
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publishDate
2018-06-05T00:00:00-04:00
isOwnedByCollections
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title
Unbound
fullDescription
An intimate portrait of a new generation of transmasculine individuals as they undergo gender transitions

Award-winning sociologist Arlene Stein takes us into the lives of four strangers who find themselves together in a sun-drenched surgeon’s office, having traveled to Florida from across the United States in order to masculinize their chests. Ben, Lucas, Parker, and Nadia wish to feel more comfortable in their bodies; three of them are also taking testosterone so that others recognize them as male. Following them over the course of a year, Stein shows how members of this young transgender generation, along with other gender dissidents, are refashioning their identities and challenging others’ conceptions of who they are. During a time of conservative resurgence, they do so despite great personal costs. 
Transgender men comprise a large, growing proportion of the trans population, yet they remain largely invisible. In this powerful, timely, and eye-opening account, Stein draws from dozens of interviews with transgender people and their friends and families, as well as with activists and medical and psychological experts. Unbound documents the varied ways younger trans men see themselves and how they are changing our understanding of what it means to be male and female in America.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post
      • content: "Moves beyond the popular fixation on bathroom politics to explore individual lives."
      • premium: False
      • source: Harper's Magazine
      • content: "Moving.... By allowing her subjects to speak for themselves as those selves are reinvented in various ways, Stein leaves room for productive conversations to appear."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Bay Area Reporter
      • content: "For readers bewildered by how to make sense of gender today.... Having received rave reviews, for those wanting to learn more about transgender people, especially as their issues continue to make news, Unbound serves as a useful primer."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 9, 2018
        Stein (Reluctant Witnesses) tracks the rapid evolution of gender identity in this provocative group portrait of trans men. The book opens in the waiting room of a South Florida plastic surgery clinic, where four patients are scheduled to undergo “top surgery” (chest masculinization) on the same day. For the next year Stein follows the four subjects as they recover from surgery and grow accustomed to their new bodies, interviewing their friends, families, and acquaintances. While in the past passing as cisgender was the goal, Stein finds these days people are just as likely to reject the gender binary outright and claim trans as their own identity. Of Stein’s four subjects, Lucas makes a point of coming out as trans, Parker is interested in passing in the traditional sense, Nadia chooses to change her body but not her gender, and Ben is still figuring out where he is most comfortable (meanwhile he uses social media to keep people updated, posting a photo of the bandages and tubes on his chest). The book also notes the prominence of reality television and social media in creating space for more gender identities to flourish by making “the personal eminently more public.” Stein posits that trans identity as it exists right now in younger people is less an act of survival and more an act of self-reinvention. Though Stein finds no tidy conclusions, her book succeeds in documenting what it means to be trans today.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 15, 2018
        Approximately 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender, sociologist Stein reports. Her illuminating book examines the lives of three of these, Ben, Parker, and Lucas, all of whom are in transition from female to male and all of whom are in the process of having surgery to masculinize their chests. Joining them is a fourth subject, Nadia, who is a bit of an outlier: a gender-bending butch lesbian, she is not in transition but wishes to have her breasts removed to appear more masculine. Stein uses these four lives as context for a larger, more expansive examination of the condition of being transgender in America at a time, she notes, when notions of gender are changing, and transgender persons are more visible than ever, thanks in part to the internet. Part history, part sociology, part group portrait, Stein's book is an accessible, thoroughly researched, and well-written examination of a circumstance still noted for its complexities, inviting searching discussions of the meanings of gender and masculinity. Happily, Unbound will bring much needed clarity to such discussions.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2018

        How do transgender men think about their sexuality? How did they decide to transition? How did family and friends react? What was the process like? What dangers do they continue to face? From multi-award-winning Rutgers sociologist Stein, who interviewed over 100 people and here focuses on four.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2018

        Sociologist Stein (Rutgers Univ.; The Stranger Next Door) invites readers to learn about the experience of those on the transmasculine spectrum. The story of Ben--a wakeboarder, sports photographer, and political organizer from Maine--structures the narrative. Readers also meet Parker, Lucas, and Nadia: three other individuals who underwent chest masculinization surgery on the same day and at the same clinic as Ben. Stein's decision to find her research participants in a clinic waiting room does mean the book is structured around transition. However, Stein allows each subject room to define for themselves what that journey has meant. While three of the four main figures identify on the transmasculine spectrum, the fourth participant, Nadia, is comfortable as a butch lesbian, who also has her breasts removed. Stein provides context for these stories by drawing on interviews with clinicians and a range of secondary literature. Unlike many outsider examinations of trans lives, Stein attends to the material vulnerabilities of her research participants rather than treating them as a subject of abstract debate. VERDICT This thoughtful study centers the lives and experiences of trans men in the millennial cohort. It will be of interest to trans and cis readers alike.--Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook, Massachusetts Historical Soc.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from April 15, 2018
        A new sociological study on transgender individuals and their experience transitioning.In her latest, gender theorist Stein (Sociology/Rutgers Univ.; Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness, 2014, etc.) follows the lives of four individuals who have gone through the process of transitioning from female to male. The author states that her book is a "group portrait of those who choose to remake their bodies and lives using the tools they have at their disposal." Stein spent considerable time with her subjects, Ben, Parker, Lucas, and Nadia, each one existing at different levels of the transgender spectrum. Ben, who grew up in a highly supportive environment, never identified as a woman; he had large breasts and struggled on a daily basis with his body image. As a result, he started hormonal treatments and eventually underwent top surgery to fully transition from female to male. Parker is a prototypical Californian, though he is from Virginia. Muscular and blond, he referred to himself as a "gurl" and dressed as a tomboy. He was outspoken and refused to wear the clothes his parents wanted him to wear as a girl. Lucas' identity fits near the intersection of male and female--i.e., he identifies neither as a man nor a woman but rather "somewhere masculine of center." Finally, Nadia wishes to modify her body but still wants to be recognized as a woman. Stein takes readers on each one of these individual's incredible journeys, shedding a rigorous, respectful, and highly studied light on the experience of transgender individuals today. For example, "transgender men," she writes, "are not simply retrieving the male that resides within; they're also creating themselves." This significant book provides medical, sociological, and psychological information that can only serve to educate those lacking understanding and awareness of an entire community of individuals who deserve representation.A stellar exploration of the complexities and limitations of gender.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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An intimate portrait of a new generation of transmasculine individuals as they undergo gender transitions

Award-winning sociologist Arlene Stein takes us into the lives of four strangers who find themselves together in a sun-drenched surgeon’s office, having traveled to Florida from across the United States in order to masculinize their chests. Ben, Lucas, Parker, and Nadia wish to feel more comfortable in their bodies; three of them are also taking testosterone so that others recognize them as male. Following them over the course of a year, Stein shows how members of this young transgender generation, along with other gender dissidents, are refashioning their identities and challenging others’ conceptions of who they are. During a time of conservative resurgence, they do so despite great personal costs. 
Transgender men comprise a large, growing proportion of the trans population, yet they remain largely invisible. In this powerful, timely, and...
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      • description: Social Science / Human Sexuality