Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Patricia Ahmed

Second Advisor

Meredith Redlin


Transgender person, khwaja sira, discipline, negotiation, resistance


Transgender persons, known as khwaja sira in Pakistan, have historically been marginalized and excluded from various spatial domains, as they do not fit the societal norms of binary gender. They are subject to gender discipline by the Pakistani society to coerce them into conforming to the social norms. This research study uses in-depth interviews and applies grounded theory in conjunction with Michel Foucault’s concept of discipline to explore how khwaja sira are subject to societal discipline in Pakistan. The discipline ranges from tacit to overt forms, including verbal and sexual harassment. Khwaja sira are disciplined within their families, in formal institutions such as healthcare systems, schools etc., as well as in public spaces such as streets and bazaars. The study shows transgender persons’ negotiation of the gender discipline within these spaces, including resistance as their response to the societal discipline.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024