The theory of performativity is centrally important to curriculum theorists who examine relationships among power, identity, and culture from a poststructural perspective. Performativity is based on an understanding of human reality as discursive, as produced not through a natural truth but through the constant repetition of discourses that perform our understandings of what is true or real. From this perspective, identities are not natural attributes; rather, they are the result of mundane practices of social norms and represent compulsory social practices.

Performativity theory is most closely related to the work of feminist theorist Judith Butler. Butler draws from J. L. Austen's and John Searles's work on speech acts and from Michel Foucault's understanding of truth as a discursive production of power and knowledge. Butler explores ...

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