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Author: Rebecca Howe

For a half-century, transgender studies and theory have existed alongside but disconnected from social work scholarship on providing services to people with self-designated genders. This article utilises unmapping as a methodology for tracing connections between normalised assumptions and power/knowledge hierarchies across four journal articles that present theoretically focused recommendations for social work in this area. Unmapping the academic discipline of social work as a space organised in particular ways reveals practices that discount and place limits on accepted knowledges. I argue that social work scholarship brackets itself off from broader transgender studies scholarship and transgender theory, and, in doing so, perpetuates social relations of dominance experienced by people with self-designated genders. I suggest that a premise of becoming consciously responsive enables continuing reflexivity, accountability and anti-colonial social work scholarship and practice.

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