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Does Language Matter? On Performance, Performativity and Conceptual Pilgrimages

Butler's concepts of performance and performativity have become relatively popular among Brazilian researchers of identity. Nevertheless, in their majority, such studies leave mostly untouched a central aspect of Butlerian theory in their analyses (if they do not forget it altogether): language. In this article, I offer a genealogical précis of the pilgrimages such concepts have undergone in different disciplines and argue that analytical attention to the linguistic life individuals produce, in which they are immersed and by which they are constructed, is a central vector in the analysis of identity performances.

Language; Performance; Performativity; Identity


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