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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Going along with trans, queer, and genderqueer youth : city movements and "worlding" knowledges Stiegler, Sam


This dissertation explores the everyday experiences of trans, queer, and genderqueer (TQG) youth in New York City. As research with TQG youth often focuses on spectacular or remarkable moments in their lives—that is the moments, whether positive or negative, that easily catch one’s attention—this study examines the moments in youths’ lives that do not always stand out, that are often overlooked, and are sometimes considered unworthy of being researched. Such a focus on the everyday, routine, and pedestrian experiences in TQG youths’ lives works to better understand how youth are coming to know themselves in relationship to the social worlds around them. Since this study understands knowledge about what and who “youth” are to be something that is always on the move, mobile methods are utilized to assist in examining how youth are producing knowledge about society and how society is producing knowledge about youth. The study engaged eleven (11) TQG youth in a series of “go-alongs”—mobile ethnographic interviews where participants moved and talked with the researcher as they went about their everyday routines. The go-alongs took place on sidewalks, public parks, libraries, public transit, and in various businesses. Some were transitory (moving between youths’ homes, schools, or works), some were activity based (running a specific errand), and others were stationary (passing time in public parks or libraries). The go-alongs allowed critical analytical attention to be paid to the ways TQG youth expressed knowledge about themselves and the social worlds through which the moved. This study suggests how more expansive ways of approaching, viewing, readings, and understanding TQG youth are needed in order to better appreciate that “youth” as a social category is not evenly applied to all social subjects of a similar age group. Rather, through paying close attention to what youth said, what they did, and how they reacted to the worlds around them during the go-alongs, this study highlights how TQG demonstrate a variety of important understandings about how they take up space in, make homes out of, and finds way to thrive in the various social worlds they occupy.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International