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Friday, April 12, 2024
12:00 - 1:30 pm EST
Location: Webinar

The Science, Knowledge, and Technology (SKAT) Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) will host a virtual panel discussion highlighting science and technology studies (STS) approaches to trans health research on April 12, 2024, at 12 pm ET. Moderated by Hayden Fulton (University of South Florida) and featuring the research and perspectives of Christoph Hanssmann (University of California – Davis), stef shuster (Michigan State University), and Xiaogao Zhou (University of Chicago), the panel will explore how these scholars’ work has been influenced by STS and how their research pushes STS in new directions. These scholars’ work on trans health offers important insights into current trends in gender affirming care in the US and beyond, and their conceptual and methodological approaches provide rich examples of what the sociology of science and knowledge contributes to research on trans health and medicine.

Hayden Fulton   Hayden J. Fulton – Moderator

PhD student and instructor
Department of Sociology
University of South Florida

Hayden Fulton is a PhD student and instructor in the Department of Sociology at USF. His research centers on the intersection of gender, medicalization, and embodiment. He investigates how gendered beliefs impact understandings of and access to healthcare. He received his MA from the USF sociology department in 2020, writing his master’s thesis on how trans individuals construct medical and financial need on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. His research is interdisciplinary, drawing on work from women and gender studies, public health, and trans studies. In 2021 Hayden completed a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies from USF. Prior to joining the department, he earned his BA in sociology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania with minors in women’s and gender studies and geographic information systems (GIS). Hayden is also affiliated with the Participant Research Interventions and Measurement (PRISM) Core at Moffitt Cancer Center as a qualitative research specialist.
chris hanssmann   Christoph Hanssmann – Panelist

Assistant Professor

Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
University of California, Davis

Chris Hanssmann studies the politics of health, science and medicine, focusing on relationships between biomedicine and social movements. His first book, Care Without Pathology, is a transnational analysis of trans health. Published with University of Minnesota Press,  it examines how activists and care providers define the field and enact care as a public good. He works collaboratively with researchers and activists in feminist, queer and trans feminist health and justice, and has published articles in Transgender Studies Quarterly, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and Social Science and Medicine.


stef m shuster   stef shuster – Panelist

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Michigan State University

stef m. shuster is an associate professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Sociology. They earned their Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Iowa, with a certificate in Gender Studies, and their B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Their current research and teaching areas are united by an overarching interest in how evidence is a social artifact that is constituted through social, cultural, and historical contexts. Across their projects, shuster asks: who constructs evidence, how does evidence confer authority to individuals and groups, and how is it mobilized by social actors? These dimensions of evidence are a centralized feature of shuster’s scholarship in three domains including how: 1) medical providers negotiate evidence to make medical decisions within uncertain terrains; 2) social movement actors use evidence to make claims about social issues; and 3) language is used in interaction to regulate subjugated groups.

shuster currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and Gender & Society.

Xiaogao Zhou   Xiaogao Zhou – Panelist

Doctoral Candidate
Department of Sociology
The University of Chicago

I am interested in the sociology of gender, sexuality, and medicine. My dissertation examines the development of gender-affirming care in China using a multi-cited ethnography. Specifically, I ask two questions: 1) How does the gender-affirming care model gain traction within the Chinese healthcare landscape? and 2) How do various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, activists, transgender individuals, and their families, navigate this new approach to transgender medicine? Answers to these questions illuminate China’s complex relations with global changes, offering insights into transnational and local dynamics reproducing challenges for transgender and gender nonconforming people.


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