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Title: Catwalking the gender tightrope: A study of the Kathoey and Transsexual Beauty Contests in Thailand
Keywords: gender transsexual kathoey beauty contests thailand
Issue Date: 30-May-2007
Citation: WONG YING WUEN (2007-05-30). Catwalking the gender tightrope: A study of the Kathoey and Transsexual Beauty Contests in Thailand. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis is an ethnographic project, which seeks to look behind the curtains of the glamorous yet elusive transsexual beauty contests that are held annually in Thailand. Transsexual beauty contests are platforms on which the visibility of the Thai kathoey is increased. In this thesis, I examine how transsexual beauty contests have evolved from being purely commercial enterprises to viable avenues through which kathoeys can seek to gain social mobility, status, power and even acceptance. Although transsexual beauty contests can be seen as sites of empowerment, kathoeys are also subjected to subjugation and in this process slippages and excesses occur. The continuous performance of a kathoey identity on a public stage has globalized the image of the Thai kathoey that is based on feminine beauty, but kathoeys continue to find spaces to transverse between both social categories of femininity and masculinity, while coming to terms with a modern kathoey identity.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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