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Unbound by Arlene Stein
Jun 05, 2018 | 352 Pages
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    May 14, 2019 | 336 Pages

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    Jun 05, 2018 | 352 Pages

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    Jun 05, 2018 | 336 Pages

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“Earnest, diligent and defiantly optimistic….What gives this book its real heat — is more personal; it’s the challenge posed to [Stein’s] own cherished beliefs.”
—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

“Sensitive….A much needed primer for those who are puzzled by contemporary discussions about gender.”
—The New Yorker

“Stein tracks the rapid evolution of gender identity in this provocative group portrait of trans men….Her book succeeds in documenting what it means to be trans today.”
Publishers Weekly
“Arlene Stein brings insight, wit, and generosity to this perceptive analysis of the dazzling shifts in how we imagine, and live out, gender today. Unbound will surprise readers who thought they had this figured out decades ago.”
 —Janice Irvine, Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts

“A new sociological study on transgender individuals and their experience transitioning. This significant book provides medical, sociological, and psychological information that can only serve to educate those lacking understanding and awareness of an entire community of individuals who deserve representation. A stellar exploration of the complexities and limitations of gender.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“If you’ve been trying to make sense of how gender today seems to have slipped the chains that bind it to our bodies in familiar ways, Unbound is a book for you. It’s a sympathetic account by non-transgender sociologist Arlene Stein, aimed at a primarily non-transgender audience, of four people assigned female at birth who surgically masculinize their chests. Stein helps her readers understand that they, too, no longer need be bound by conventional expectations of the meaning of our flesh.”
—Susan Stryker, founding co-editor, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

“In this gripping, illuminating and clear-eyed portrait of what it means to be transmasculine in today’s America, Arlene Stein does justice to an oft-misrepresented topic. A vivid and fiercely empathetic narrative that juxtaposes nuanced portraits of these young people with a clearly articulated understanding of what it means to navigate a culture that treats gender minorities with contempt, ignorance, and violence. Unbound is a revelatory read that fills an important role in gender studies.”
—Ryan Berg, author of No House to Call My Home

“Arlene Stein’s group portrait of four transgender individuals preparing for surgery expands our understanding of both the internal experience of gender identity and its fluidity and construction.  Deeper than a broad survey, broader than a memoir, Unbound is an enriching sociological account that enables readers to enter a space typically seen only from afar.”
—Michael Kimmel, author of Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era
Unbound is a timely and critical response to the loud silence permeating the current public discourse on gender and transgender experiences, especially the lived realities of transgender men within the US. A critical and stunning work that will shift the ways gender has been politicized and imagined. Should be required reading for all.”
—Darnell L. Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America 

Table Of Contents

Introduction 3
ONE Pre-Op 23
TWO Gender Trouble 43
THREE One Life to Live 62
FOUR Transitioning 85
FIVE Designing Men 111
SIX What Kind of Man Am I? 139
SEVEN Last Butch Standing 171
EIGHT Waiting for the Big Reveal 200
NINE Turn and Face the Strange 223
TEN I Am Enough 251

Afterword 279
Acknowledgments 289
Notes on Methods of Research 293
Glossary of Terms 297
Sources Consulted 303
Notes 311
Index 321

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