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Sarah E. Chinn

In: The SAGE Handbook of Identities

Chapter 6: Performative Identities: From Identity Politics to Queer Theory

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Performative Identities: From Identity Politics to Queer Theory
Performative identities: From identity politics to queer theory

In this chapter I hope to trace the ways in which feminist understandings of the category of ‘identity’ changed with the growth of theories of performativity over the course of the 1990s and into the twenty-first century. Of course ‘identity’ had for more than a decade played an immense role in the ways in which feminists had thought about gender, particularly in terms of race and class, particularly in the United States. The ground breaking and hugely influential statement issued in 1977 by the Combahee River Collective, a group of US women of color, put ‘identity’ at the core of black feminist practice, and ‘identity politics’, a political practice that, ...

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