Petta-Gay Hannah


  • Degrees Earned and From Where:BA, Sociology, University of Florida 2004
    MA, Sociology, DePaul University 2009
    Ph.D. Concentration in Women and Gender Studies, University of Florida 2014
    Certificate, Quantitative Methods, University of Florida 2013
    Certificate, Public Health, University of Florida 2013
  • Research and Teaching Interests:Gender and Sexualities
    Health Disparities
    Social Psychology
    Social Movements
    Online Methodologies
  • Dissertation Title:
    CyberTrans: Virtual Spaces, Gendered Bodies, and the Transgender Movement Online
  • Dissertation Abstract:
    The transgender social movements literature suggests that a transgender movement exists online (i.e., websites and other supportive spaces online where transgender people interact with each other); however, scholars know little about it, with sparse evidence to indicate the current state of the movement online. Therefore, this research seeks to gain a better understanding of how the transgender movement has progressed by assessing transgender online spaces. The purpose of this grounded theory research is to understand the processes by which transgender people form identities, communities, and spaces online. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach; I will collect both elicited and extant data while paying attention to three sensitizing concepts :(1) Space; (2) Collective Identity and Identity Politics; and (3) Infighting. Elicited data will be collected using semi-structured interviews from individuals who visit transgender specific spaces online. Extant data will be collected via textual analysis of these spaces. Both sets of data will be collected and analyzed simultaneously to illuminate the areas where more data are needed and enable better sorting to make sense of data that seem commonplace. Data will be coded using open coding to a more focused coding method. Pilot data were collected via semi-structured interviews from four participants and textual data were catalogued from two online spaces. The preliminary results from the pilot data suggest that the sensitizing concepts are relevant; in addition, another sensitizing concept has started to come to the fore, advocacy/activism. Overall, the preliminary findings suggest that these concepts are a primary point from which to begin to follow initial interests that are important for understanding online transgender movement work.

    A significant goal of this study is to generate a theory that provides an explanation of the processes through which transgender movement work is done in online spaces, in hopes of moving us beyond a descriptive account of the transgender movement and community online.