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Borderland Selves: Rethinking Identity in Contemporary Global/Local Articulations
Unformatted Document Text:  ecology of belonging (as one of the aspects of identity formation), is fundamentally nomadic, only temporarily attached and thus as a moment of occurrence in the ongoing drift of identification. As such, it has more to do with a connection to one’s “routes” than to one’s “roots”, hence a connection that is forged in and results from the contingent. Consequently, belonging, “home”, although central for our experience, does not refer to or require a permanent address, an archaic domicile, a fixed point of return, an essence to be invoked or discovered; but rather, it always refers to an u-topia, a place that is nowhere and yet could be everywhere, and therefore to a connection that is made possible and emerges in its own movement, as part of the drift of identification. Thus, what becomes central to the logic of relationality is that the identity of a unity – its singularity – does not refer to a preexisting, essential, isolated and fixed entity; nor to an original and undivided point of departure (thus as related to itself, as selfsame); but rather to an emergent coherence whose consistency or transformation is always specified in relation to, and within a definite yet changing set of relationships or, more precisely, different levels of intercrossed relationships 2 . Identity, then, arises at this point of intercrossing – thus as a “nodal point” (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985) that is both the specification of singularity and the opening of a field of relational possibilities and constraints, both determined and undetermined, both a moment of emergence and relay. The notion of coherence or consistency, from the perspective of relationality, does not imply then the existence of an underlying order, an organizing core, an essential connection among 2 If we take a look into the world of physics, particularly into quantum mechanics, we can find strong resonances with these ideas. As Niels Bohr wrote in Atomic Physics and the Description of Nature referring to the nature of subatomic particles: “Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems.” (57. Cited in Capra, 1982: 80). Subatomic particles then, as Capra explains, are not “things” but are interconnections between “things”, and these “things”, in turn, are interconnections between other “things”, and so on. “In quantum theory you never end up with ‘things’; you always deal with interconnections.” (80).

Authors: Correa, Andres.
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ecology of belonging (as one of the aspects of identity formation), is fundamentally
nomadic, only temporarily attached and thus as a moment of occurrence in the ongoing drift
of identification. As such, it has more to do with a connection to one’s “routes” than to one’s
“roots”, hence a connection that is forged in and results from the contingent. Consequently,
belonging, “home”, although central for our experience, does not refer to or require a
permanent address, an archaic domicile, a fixed point of return, an essence to be invoked or
discovered; but rather, it always refers to an u-topia, a place that is nowhere and yet could be
everywhere, and therefore to a connection that is made possible and emerges in its own
movement, as part of the drift of identification.
Thus, what becomes central to the logic of relationality is that the identity of a unity
– its singularity – does not refer to a preexisting, essential, isolated and fixed entity; nor to
an original and undivided point of departure (thus as related to itself, as selfsame); but rather
to an emergent coherence whose consistency or transformation is always specified in
relation to, and within a definite yet changing set of relationships or, more precisely,
different levels of intercrossed relationships
2
. Identity, then, arises at this point of
intercrossing – thus as a “nodal point” (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985) that is both the
specification of singularity and the opening of a field of relational possibilities and
constraints, both determined and undetermined, both a moment of emergence and relay.
The notion of coherence or consistency, from the perspective of relationality, does not imply
then the existence of an underlying order, an organizing core, an essential connection among
2
If we take a look into the world of physics, particularly into quantum mechanics, we can find strong
resonances with these ideas. As Niels Bohr wrote in Atomic Physics and the Description of Nature referring to
the nature of subatomic particles: “Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable
and observable only through their interaction with other systems.” (57. Cited in Capra, 1982: 80). Subatomic
particles then, as Capra explains, are not “things” but are interconnections between “things”, and these
“things”, in turn, are interconnections between other “things”, and so on. “In quantum theory you never end up
with ‘things’; you always deal with interconnections.” (80).


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