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Transgender Intimate Partner ViolenceA Comprehensive Introduction$
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Adam M. Messinger and Xavier L. Guadalupe-Diaz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479830428

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479830428.001.0001

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Undermining Transgender Survivors

Undermining Transgender Survivors

Discrediting Identity Work in Intimate Relationships

Chapter:
(p.62) 3 Undermining Transgender Survivors
Source:
Transgender Intimate Partner Violence
Author(s):

Amanda Koontz

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479830428.003.0003

This chapter examines the theoretical underpinnings as to how transgender people experience intimate partner violence, in a social context dominated by romantic love ideals and the gender binary. It examines how abusers manipulate transgender-specific insecurities and discredit identities through controlling gender transitions and other aspects of transgender identity construction. The processes of identity work—that is, constructing oneself as an image in relation to one's self-concept and perceptions of others’ reactions—influence almost all realms of life. Given the social context and distinct experiences corresponding with transitions, this chapter explores transgender peoples’ identity work as a potential site for identity abuse, identifying two altercasting strategies of retroverting (reinforcing past, undesired identities) and maneuverting (making desired identities unachievable by holding idealized traits and props over victims). In so doing, this chapter also considers ways in which discrediting identity work offers insight into “why victims stay” in abusive relationships within the context of transgender intimate partner violence.

Keywords:   identity work, transgender, intimate partner violence, altercasting, retroverting, maneuverting, self-concept, relationship ideals, romantic love, identity abuse

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