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Borderland Selves: Rethinking Identity in Contemporary Global/Local Articulations
Unformatted Document Text:  itself. Any social and cultural formation is therefore assumed to be constituted by, and constitutive of, a field of relations and relational practices. Central to this logic is the constitutive role of discourse, discursive practices, narrativity and systems of (re)presentation (all notions that in fact suggest a process of linking, chaining, connecting, as well as, of course, of disconnecting, disjointing – in sum, constellations of relationships). Such a discursive view however does not presuppose the separation of the real and the represented, of reality and language, of discourse from material conditions of existence for, first, discourse is always produced in specific historical and institutional sites and formations; and second, for the discursive is itself part of those very material conditions since, as practice, is always generative and therefore has a determinate effectivity (Hall, 1996; Grossberg, 1992). An important metaphor of relationality is the figure of articulation. Articulation has been an influential and generative notion in contemporary social and cultural studies; it has provided a non-unitary way to understand particular configurations – and possible reconfigurations – of social and cultural practices, how they produce effects and how such effects are organized and deployed (Grossberg, 1992). In this way, the “unity” of what we call, for example, a discourse, or a subculture, or any social formation is really, as Hall (1996a) suggests, the articulation of different and distinct elements that have no necessary correspondence or “belongingness” to one another and which, for that reason, can be re- articulated (141). Thus a unity whose consistency is always temporary, non-essential, and therefore does not depend on a center that holds or an underlying organizing principle (whatever form that center or principle may take), but rather, on the relationships or articulations themselves. As such the figure of articulation can be used to understand from

Authors: Correa, Andres.
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itself. Any social and cultural formation is therefore assumed to be constituted by, and
constitutive of, a field of relations and relational practices. Central to this logic is the
constitutive role of discourse, discursive practices, narrativity and systems of
(re)presentation (all notions that in fact suggest a process of linking, chaining, connecting, as
well as, of course, of disconnecting, disjointing – in sum, constellations of relationships).
Such a discursive view however does not presuppose the separation of the real and the
represented, of reality and language, of discourse from material conditions of existence for,
first, discourse is always produced in specific historical and institutional sites and
formations; and second, for the discursive is itself part of those very material conditions
since, as practice, is always generative and therefore has a determinate effectivity (Hall,
1996; Grossberg, 1992).
An important metaphor of relationality is the figure of articulation. Articulation has
been an influential and generative notion in contemporary social and cultural studies; it has
provided a non-unitary way to understand particular configurations – and possible
reconfigurations – of social and cultural practices, how they produce effects and how such
effects are organized and deployed (Grossberg, 1992). In this way, the “unity” of what we
call, for example, a discourse, or a subculture, or any social formation is really, as Hall
(1996a) suggests, the articulation of different and distinct elements that have no necessary
correspondence or “belongingness” to one another and which, for that reason, can be re-
articulated (141). Thus a unity whose consistency is always temporary, non-essential, and
therefore does not depend on a center that holds or an underlying organizing principle
(whatever form that center or principle may take), but rather, on the relationships or
articulations themselves. As such the figure of articulation can be used to understand from


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