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15 December 2008

Carol S. Riddell (? - ) sociologist.

Sociologist David Riddell, married and with a daughter, was a lecturer at the University of Lancaster, when he co-authored Approaching Sociology: A Critical Introduction, 1970, a work inspired by humanist Marxism, symbolic interactionism, phenomenological sociology and ethno-methodology. This work inspired the then undergraduate Richard Ekins who later wrote on the sociology of trans persons.

David completed transition to Carol with surgery from Dr Georges Burou in Casablanca in 1972. She was in the clinic there the same time as Jan Morris. The revised edition of Approaching Sociology in 1972 names the co-author as Carol S. Riddell.

Also in 1972, she presented a paper to the National Deviancy Conference 10 on “Transvestism and the Tyranny of Gender” in which she analyses the two-gender system as a feature of capitalism – which was an early influence on sociologist Dave King who also later wrote on the sociology of trans persons.

In 1980 Carol wrote a critical pamphlet reviewing Janice Raymond’s 'The Transsexual Empire' criticizing its factual errors, its betrayal of feminist ideals and its use of masculinist ideas. This was well received and much reprinted.

In 1985 she became a devotee of Sai Baba and the Findhorn Foundation, and her later work is devoted to the sect and to the Hebrides where it is located.
  • Margaret A Coulson & Carol Riddell. Approaching Sociology. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972. 
  • Carol Riddell. “Divided Sisterhood : A Critical Review of Janice Raymond's 'The Transsexual Empire' “. Liverpool: News from Nowhere 1980. Parts 2,3,5 reprinted in Richard Ekins & Dave King (eds). Blending genders: social aspects of cross-dressing and sex-changing. London and New York: Routledge. 257 pp. 2002; reprinted in Stephen Whittle & Susan Stryker (eds). The Transgender Studies Reader. Routledge. 752 pp. 2006.
  • Richard Ekins & Dave King. The Transgender Phenomenon. London: Thousand Oaks; California: Sage. 2006: 2, 5. Excerpt online at
  • No longer available.

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