Jessica Sandelson

Jessica Sandelson

DPhil Student

Green Templeton College

Thesis: Disordered Eating Among Transgender Adults in Brighton

Research: My doctoral research, funded by ESRC and Clarendon, involves immersive ethnographic research with trans identifying people in Brighton who are affected by disordered eating. Research into disordered eating among trans people is dominated by psychological case studies and surveys. These tend to isolate individuals from their social relations and adopt a singular narrative of trans embodiment, in which transgender often appears as pathological.

Instead, this project sets out to consider diverse bodily experiences surrounding disordered eating. It explores disordered eating within a spectrum of emotive practices that include body modification, intimacy, and sex. Moving beyond an individual frame, it asks how these experiences are embedded in the social worlds and affective relationships that matter to people in their everyday lives. At the same time, it takes into account the wider British socio-economic context and unique historical dynamics of Brighton, which shape bodily feelings. Using 18 months of participant observation and creative methods, my research asks how people inhabit their bodies, and how they relate to others through their bodies.

Email: jessica.sandelson@anthro.ox.ac.uk

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