Compton D’L, Meadow T, Schilt K ed. Other, Please Specify:_________: Queer Methods in Sociology. University of California Press; Forthcoming.
Meadow T. Review: Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law and Fascination in Nineteenth Century San Francisco, by Clare Sears. American Journal of Sociology . Forthcoming;121 (5).
Meadow T. Unnatural Boundaries: the Challenge of Transgender. In: Calhoun CJ, Sennett R Edges. New York, NY: NYU Press ; Forthcoming.Abstract

For many people, the “M” or “F” stamped on government-issued identity documentation represents little more than a common formality, a universally applicable biometric, an unquestioned indicator of group membership. This is not true for everyone. Over the last few decades, an international transgender community, given shape, in some part, by victories of feminist and gay liberation movements and larger transformations in scientific thinking about sex and sexuality, has called upon law and the broader culture to remake understandings of male/female difference. Thus begins a series of public contests over the border between “M” and “F.” Will biomedicine and law recognize a more diverse constellation of indicia of gender, including personal identity? What are the conditions under which the state will allow individuals to elect to alter their legal identities? What counts as gender, and who can be the target of “gender discrimination?” At base, in the words of Judith Butler (2004): “whose world is legitimated as real?” These questions are answered in small ways in a variety of local settings, and the answers often conflict. In this chapter, I explore the paradoxical role played by legal gender classifications in ongoing cultural disagreements about gender difference. On one hand, they reinforce the notion that there are predictable, stable ways to identify, mark and secure the individual. On the other, law has become an expressive tool in the lives of individuals, who both depend on its recognition for access to the most basic forms of social participation, yet whose own transgressive identity practices can push against, resist and transform the very ways the law codifies its categories. Much like the edge effects identified by urban sociologists, ecologists and literary and queer theorists in other contexts, gender diversity flourishes at the edges of legal recognition. State identity schemes vary widely, and their inconsistencies open up a space to think in nuanced ways about how gender is lived and recognized. While the law constructs gender classifications as boundaries, in fact, they function more like borderlines. Though a repressive and regulatory state apparatus keenly guards the edges of gender, they remain surprisingly permeable. In their most ideal forms, they respond to the demands, needs and resistances of individuals. Indeed, if legal gender classifications wish to do their work, they must become more fully the open systems they suggest—that is, always in evolution, responsive to the multiplying ways in which individuals embody, express and assert their identities. They must allow for the expressive movement through, and use by individuals of, the categories themselves.

Meadow T, Schlit K. Re: Doing Gender: A Queer Response to Feminist Social Theory. University of California Press; Forthcoming.
Meadow T. Raising Transgender: Being Male or Female in the Twenty-First Century. University of California Press; Forthcoming.
Meadow T. Law’s Boundaries: and the Challenge of Transgender. In: Calhoun CJ, Sennett R Edges. New York, NY: NYU Press ; 2015.
Meadow T. The Child. Transgender Studies Quarterly. 2014;1 :57-59.
Meadow T. Review: The Nuptial Deal: Same-Sex Marriage and Neoliberal Governance, by Jaye Cee Whitehead. American Journal of Sociology . 2013;118 (5).
Meadow T. Studying Each Other: A Queer Take on the Feminist Ethnographer’s Dilemma. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. 2013;42 :466-481.
Meadow T. Studying Each Other: On Agency, Constraint and Positionality in the Field. Contemporary Ethnography. 2013;42 :466-481.Abstract

Can we ever fully prepare ourselves for the fieldwork moments in which our pre-conceived interests, ideas, and questions meet the complex realities of our subjects’ lives? In “The Feminist Ethnographer’s Dilemma,” Orit Avishai, Lynne Gerber, and Jennifer Randles challenge feminist ethnographers to discuss our reflexive practices when fieldwork realities conflict with our personal political goals. All three authors conducted fieldwork in what they consider “conservative social spaces.” In each context, individuals confronted social forces feminist analyses typically cast as regressive, normative, and regulatory.  Each author found that her fieldwork encounters forced her to reflect on her own preexisting assumptions and the distance between her politics and those of her subjects. Each author found herself developing a far more complex intellectual and political relationship to the issues she studied than anticipated. In this response, I draw on my work with gender nonconforming children and their families to offer two conclusions about the business of feminist (and, really, any) ethnography: First, constraint and agency are always at play, no matter whether the social context is conservative or progressive, and the interplay between those forces outlines the contours of communities of practice. Second, as we labor to place ourselves at some distance from those we wish to analyze, they are also laboring, watching us, making meaning of us. These interpersonal processes should be treated as an important form of data, one that allows us to redress a weakness common to some strains of feminist thought—accounting for the individual women who deliberately choose life conditions we ourselves might consider oppressive.

Meadow T. ’Deep Down Where the Music Plays’: Parents’ Accounts of Their Child’s Gender Variance. Sexualities. 2011;14 :725-747.Abstract

Parents of gender nonconforming children routinely negotiate their child’s gnder with social institutions, from schools to churches to neighborhood associations. These interactions require that parents develop nattatives about why their particular child violates gender norms. In this paper, I argue that over the last century, there has been a proliferation within biomedicine, psychiatry and popular culture of the ways in which we can “know” gender; and as a result, ever more emotional work is required to account for the “self” that inhabits the gendered body. This analysis of the work parents do to explain their gender nonconforming children to others demonstrates that these identities require a distinctly modern form of accounting. With that call to articulate the self comes an attendant proliferation of the ways in which gender can be regulated; yet, despite much sociological evidence that medicine, psychology and spirituality are often mechanisms for social control, they also provide ready tools for exploring, facilitating and embracing the multiplicity and plasticity of contemporary gender identities.

Baum J, Brill S, Meadow T. Institute of Medicine, LGBT Health Research Gaps and Opportunities Report: Gaps in Research on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children and Adolescents. National Institutes of Health; 2010.
Meadow T. ‘A Rose is a Rose:’ On the Production of Legal Gender Classifications. Gender and Society. 2010;24 :814-837.Abstract

Gender is perhaps the most pervasive, fundamental and universally accepted way we separate and categorize human beings. Yet, in recent years, U.S. courts and administrative state agencies confronted a growing challenge from individuals demanding to have their gender reclassified. Transgender people create a profound category crisis for social institutions built on the idea that biological sex is both immutable and dichotomous. Over the last four decades, the central legal question shifted- from how to allocate specific individuals to categories to the permeability of gender categories themselves. This analysis of 38 judicial gender determinations provides a glimpse of the literal construction of the “gender order,” and of the ways institutions gender individuals. It also provides powerful evidence that cultural anxieties about reproduction and the heterosexual, conjugal family underscore institutional efforts to manage the uncertainty of postmodern gender identities.

Meadow T, Stacey J. New Slants on the Slippery Slope: The Politics of Polygamy and Gay Family Rights in South Africa and the United States. Politics and Society. 2009;37 :167-202.Abstract

This article investigates the often cited and dismissed, but rarely examined relationship between legalizing same-sex marriage and polygamy.  Employing a comparative historical analysis of U.S. and South African jurisprudence, ideology, and cultural politics, we examine efforts to expand, restrict and regulate the gender and number of legally recognized conjugal bonds.  South African family jurisprudence grants legal recognition to both same-sex marriage and polygyny, while the U.S. prohibits and resists both.  However, social and material conditions make it easier to practice family diversity in the U.S. than in South Africa. Our analysis of the very different histories of polygamy and same-sex marriage in the two societies suggests the centrality of racial politics to marriage regimes, yielding paradoxical narratives about the implications of legal same-sex marriage for the future of polygamy and sexual democracy. If there is a slippery marital slope, we argue, it does not tilt in a singular or expected direction.

Meadow T, Stacey J. The Race to Marriage. The Immanent Frame, an SSRC Blog. 2008;(June 18). Publisher's Version