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Symbolic Violence
Symbolic violence
Introduction

To a marked extent Excitable Speech (1997a), and other more recent texts such as Antigone's Claim (2000), Undoing Gender (2004), Giving an Account of Oneself (2005) and Precarious Life (2006), are primarily concerned with analysing the processes and techniques that characterise symbolic violence. Excitable Speech could be characterised as an attempt to address and work through the issue of injurious or hate speech. It weaves across and between a number of exemplificative cases and sites, including pornography, abortion, Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs, gangsta rap lyrics, US military policy re (declarations of) homosexuality and, somewhat less obviously, US Supreme Court decisions and their accompanying commentaries.

The last example is particularly significant, for two main reasons. First, it clearly directs the subsequent narrative in the direction ...

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