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Borderland Selves: Rethinking Identity in Contemporary Global/Local Articulations
Unformatted Document Text:  large social and cultural formations to identity itself (personal or collective), an also their relation. A relation that can never be secured in advance; for the same social relations, and our positioning in them (e.g., as worker, consumer, citizen, etc) can be represented and constructed in discourse in different ways, which implies that there is no direct and therefore no guaranteed correspondence between the social groups people belong to (e.g., class), the categories of thought and discourses they use, and their practices. This does not mean however that a category or discourse (e.g., religion, or nationalism, etc.) is free-floating. As Hall suggests (1996a), it “exists historically in a particular formation, anchored very directly in relation to a number of different forces. Nevertheless, it has no necessary, intrinsic, transhistorical belongingness. Its meaning - political and ideological - comes precisely from its position within the formation. It comes with what else is articulated to.” (54). Specifically referring to identity as an articulation Hall (1996b) writes: I use ‘identity’ to refer to the meeting point, the point of suture, between on the one hand the discourses and practices which attempt to ‘interpellate’, speak us or hail us into place as the social subjects of particular discourses, and on the other hand, the processes which produce subjectivities, which construct us as subjects which can be ‘spoken’. Identities are thus points of temporary attachement to the subject positions which discursive practices construct for us. They are the result of a successful articulation or ‘chaining’ of the subject into the flow of the discourse...” (6). Although the language that Hall uses still preserves in my opinion the modernist recourse of thinking the social, in this case the discursive (through the production of subject positions), as constraining or determining externality; it provides nonetheless a good entry to rethink the issues that concern us here. In fact, articulation works as a productive metaphor and indeed as the main premise of analysis in Cvetkovich and Kellner’s Articulating the Global and the Local. Articulation is in their view a notion that can effectively mediate the global and the local. Used in this context, articulation

Authors: Correa, Andres.
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large social and cultural formations to identity itself (personal or collective), an also their
relation. A relation that can never be secured in advance; for the same social relations, and
our positioning in them (e.g., as worker, consumer, citizen, etc) can be represented and
constructed in discourse in different ways, which implies that there is no direct and therefore
no guaranteed correspondence between the social groups people belong to (e.g., class), the
categories of thought and discourses they use, and their practices. This does not mean
however that a category or discourse (e.g., religion, or nationalism, etc.) is free-floating. As
Hall suggests (1996a), it “exists historically in a particular formation, anchored very directly
in relation to a number of different forces. Nevertheless, it has no necessary, intrinsic,
transhistorical belongingness. Its meaning - political and ideological - comes precisely from
its position within the formation. It comes with what else is articulated to.” (54). Specifically
referring to identity as an articulation Hall (1996b) writes:
I use ‘identity’ to refer to the meeting point, the point of suture, between on the one
hand the discourses and practices which attempt to ‘interpellate’, speak us or hail us
into place as the social subjects of particular discourses, and on the other hand, the
processes which produce subjectivities, which construct us as subjects which can be
‘spoken’. Identities are thus points of temporary attachement to the subject positions
which discursive practices construct for us. They are the result of a successful
articulation or ‘chaining’ of the subject into the flow of the discourse...” (6).
Although the language that Hall uses still preserves in my opinion the modernist
recourse of thinking the social, in this case the discursive (through the production of subject
positions), as constraining or determining externality; it provides nonetheless a good entry to
rethink the issues that concern us here. In fact, articulation works as a productive metaphor
and indeed as the main premise of analysis in Cvetkovich and Kellner’s Articulating the
Global and the Local. Articulation is in their view a notion that can effectively mediate the
global and the local. Used in this context, articulation


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