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Performativity and identity

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  1. Introduction
  2. The categorized lead
  3. Butler's writings
  4. The act of rebelling against a norm
  5. Nico Dacumos
  6. Butlers' thoughts
  7. The questioning of identity
  8. Conclusion
  9. Works cited

Performativity as a concept is fraught with innuendo and subject to both discussion and debate. By use of this term are we denigrating that to which we apply it to mere acting? Or, conversely does the term Performativity lead us to open doors into broader definitions and ways of knowing the subjects to which it is applied? It has been said that the terms we use to define ourselves actually limit ourselves; in that defining; to no more than what those terms convey, to ourselves and others.

[...] Further exploring these concepts Butler also states that to claim a lesbian identity is to ?affirm but also to constrain, legislate, determine, or specify one's identity in ways that support the categories of homophobic and heterosexist thought.? (Butler 307) As previously stated to claim ones identity as such, also reinforces what is it, and is not, as defined by the majority. Butler does state that there is a use to definition in that it is useful rally and represent am oppressed constituency.? (Butler 309) She worries, as such, that if we opt to not claim our own definition we risk exclusion through ignorance of our existence at all. [...]

[...] So, his performativity varies, deliberately, depending on his audience, leading to a conflict of self identity vs. community identity. This conflict had some roots in his mixed ethnic background, I believe. Dacumos learned some of the survival skills for those middle spaces, those undefined, middle line walking places, that he would deal with later in life by first learning to deal with the existence of himself as a mixed race child. Salih describes Butlers' thoughts on what I perceive to be performativity with an example that I find very apt, lord and his bondsman a re mutually reliant, mutually constituting entities who cannot live without each other. [...]

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