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Borderland Selves: Rethinking Identity in Contemporary Global/Local Articulations
Unformatted Document Text:  rejection of some modern values (e.g., science), while at the same time holds on to other modern forms such as the capitalist market economy (41). Thus it is precisely in this context that the dialectical tension between modernization and indigenization, homogenization and heterogenization, the global and the local, the universal and the particular, can be understood – this is, as a tension that cannot be overcome and which is nonetheless generative of the process of identity formation. Thus for the same reason, as Calhoun (1994) argues, “[t]ension between identity – putatively singular, unitary, and integral – and identities – plural, cross-cutting and divided – is inescapable at both individual and collective levels. As lived, identity is always a project, not settled accomplishment; through various external ascriptions and recognitions [and I may add, either as assertions or negations] may be fixed and timeless.” (27). A tension that at the same time brings to light the inextricable connection between the politics of personal identity and the politics of collective identity. The import of the logic of mutual implication and incommensurability for rethinking determination is key. For the fact that global and the local can only exist in a relation of mutual constitution means at the same time that there is always a gap, an unbridgeable slippage, an untotalizable condition in the constitution of each. As such, there is always too much or too little, always an excess or a lack, but never a proper fit; and therefore never subordination or overdetermination in an absolute sense. In this sense the global and the local are each, at the same time, both process and product, both structuring and structure (although neither one nor the other) 3 . Determination in this context, as mutual implication, 3 The import of the logic of mutual constitution for understanding contemporary global politics has been expressed quite vividly by Trinh Minh-ha (1989), particularly as it refers to the blurring of the boundary that separates the “Third World” and the “First”. In this context she argues:

Authors: Correa, Andres.
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rejection of some modern values (e.g., science), while at the same time holds on to other
modern forms such as the capitalist market economy (41). Thus it is precisely in this context
that the dialectical tension between modernization and indigenization, homogenization and
heterogenization, the global and the local, the universal and the particular, can be understood
– this is, as a tension that cannot be overcome and which is nonetheless generative of the
process of identity formation.
Thus for the same reason, as Calhoun (1994) argues, “[t]ension between identity –
putatively singular, unitary, and integral – and identities – plural, cross-cutting and divided –
is inescapable at both individual and collective levels. As lived, identity is always a project,
not settled accomplishment; through various external ascriptions and recognitions [and I
may add, either as assertions or negations] may be fixed and timeless.” (27). A tension that
at the same time brings to light the inextricable connection between the politics of personal
identity and the politics of collective identity.
The import of the logic of mutual implication and incommensurability for rethinking
determination is key. For the fact that global and the local can only exist in a relation of
mutual constitution means at the same time that there is always a gap, an unbridgeable
slippage, an untotalizable condition in the constitution of each. As such, there is always too
much or too little, always an excess or a lack, but never a proper fit; and therefore never
subordination or overdetermination in an absolute sense. In this sense the global and the
local are each, at the same time, both process and product, both structuring and structure
(although neither one nor the other)
3
. Determination in this context, as mutual implication,
3
The import of the logic of mutual constitution for understanding contemporary global politics has
been expressed quite vividly by Trinh Minh-ha (1989), particularly as it refers to the blurring of the boundary
that separates the “Third World” and the “First”. In this context she argues:


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