The European Legacy 24 (2):181-201 (2018)
AbstractABSTRACTSocial constructionism, and Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s discourse theory in particular, are well-known for their anti-essentialist understanding of identity. Hence these discourses have theoretically been utilized for understanding social identity construction and for deconstructing identities. However, I claim that social constructionism and Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory may have the as yet non-theorized operation of detecting and combating wholesale indictments of identities. This operation helps us diagnose how ethnic identity and affect become incriminated as supposedly inextricably intertwined with racism, chauvinism and related pathologies. Yet interestingly, instead of unveiling and critiquing the new hegemony of blanket indictment of ethnic identity/affect, social constructionism and Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory have been used to incriminate identity as such. The present article interprets Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory against the grain to chastise the tendency to declare ethnic identity/affect as the new enemy. It shows how such new, hegemonic incrimination aspires to fill the empty signifier of peaceful coexistence with otherness, yet runs the risk of effacing otherness. The article concludes with an example of a reconstructive alternative.
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References found in this work
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.Judith Butler & Suzanne Pharr - 1990 - Hypatia 5 (3):171-175.
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.Laurie J. Sears & Benedict Anderson - 1994 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 114 (1):129.
Patriotism and Pride Beyond Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum.Marianna Papastephanou - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (4):484-503.
Citations of this work
Incriminatory Utopias: Utopian Visions Creating Scapegoats.Kalli Drousioti & Marianna Papastephanou - forthcoming - Thesis Eleven:072551362210984.
Collective Identities Beyond Homogenisation: Implications for Justice and Education.Kalli Drousioti - 2022 - Ethics and Education 17 (3):294-310.
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