Amin Ghaziani

 
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Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests

Sexualities / LGBTQ studies / Queer studies
Urban sociology
culture / cultural sociology
nightlife

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Research Options

I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
 
 

Research Methodology

qualitative methods

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Identity work across the gender spectrum : negotiations of membership, healthcare, and resilience in transgender and nonbinary populations (2023)

The term transgender has emerged as a distinct and salient category of collective identity. For some gender scholars, activists, and organizations, the category of transgender serves as a broad umbrella term that does not delineate one particular identity or embodiment but rather represents a host of expressions that actively transcend and transgress cisnormative understandings of the gender/sex binary. Although the transgender umbrella is useful in the sense of inclusion, outsider recognition, and social activism for non-cisgender identities, often trans and nonbinary people hold radically different understandings of themselves and their relationship to one another. For my doctoral dissertation, I problematize past scholarly research that has generally conceptualized gender-diverse communities into a monolithic, singular term transgender. This amalgamation has unintentionally led to a de-emphasis and erasure of the complex and unique lived experiences found across trans men, trans women, and nonbinary identities, especially in relation to membership negotiations, healthcare experiences, and strategies of resilience. Drawing insights from the minority stress theoretical framework, across three empirical chapters I focus my analytic lens on examining how trans and nonbinary people are (i) challenging medicalized definitions of transness, and negotiating boundaries of membership and understandings of gender more broadly (Study One), (ii) perceptions of barriers to care that impede medical services for this population (Study Two), and (iii) reclaiming autonomy over their healthcare needs through the employment of resiliency strategies (Study Three). Across each empirical study, I employ a variety of qualitative methods to document the relational dynamics and experiences of those who take refuge under the broad and evolving category of transgender. My findings collectively offer unique insights into trans and nonbinary identities, and spotlight how within-group similarities and differences shape avenues of coping, self-esteem, and self-efficacy in relation to gender identity and expression as well as healthcare considerations (e.g., accessing healthcare) and experiences more broadly. Beyond this, my dissertation contributes to larger debates in cultural, gender, and medical sociology while providing critical insights into policy implications and future research directions in this area.

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Lessons learned and unlearned: a study of queer family-making practices (2022)

The United States has a history of legislating family boundaries. In 2015, the Supreme Court extended the right to marry to same-sex couples in Obergefell v. Hodges. Its passage and the gradual, though unevenly liberalizing, attitudes about homosexuality have impacted the ways queer people imagine and create families. In this context of evolving notions of stigma and acceptance, queer lives exist in a state of tension. Hence, the research questions which motivate my work: How does queerness impact the way people think about family? What can family studies learn from individuals and families who make their families differently? What is the relationship between queer family-making and community building? Drawing on 42 qualitative interviews with LGBTQ+ individuals and 30 hours of ethnographic observations, I address these questions in three empirical papers.The work consists of three independent papers that examine distinct yet interrelated aspects of stigma, queerness, and family-making. Together, all three papers elevate the centrality of these concepts in core debates in sociology, family studies, and psychology. The first discusses how queers respond to the stigma and societal rejection they first encounter within families of origin. Findings highlight the unexpectedly generative effects of early stigma and rejection in families of origin, and how respondents use “queer connections” to establish new relational norms that help them heal from experiences in early life. The second, an example of queer methods and an asset-based approach, explores the characteristics of queer relationships and innovative worldmaking strategies within the context of queer families. Findings generate new insights into ways queers employ individual and relational strengths in order to transform the family context into a site of potential healing from societal stigmatization and trauma. The third explores the intersections and interconnections between family-making and community-building and contributes to contemporary debates about neoliberalism, homonormativity, and the effects of marriage equality. Three main findings highlight that existing debates are pessimistically preoccupied that family and community will dissociate. My findings show both are living systems with blurry boundaries: sometimes separate, sometimes similar, sometimes overlapping, sometimes existing simultaneously. I summarize findings and make recommendations for future research and application.

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News Releases

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