Friday, May 25th, 2012...1:35 am

34. Pachuco “Performing” Identity

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Judith Butler’s idea of “performativity” suggests that one’s identity is a mere “performance,” the repetition of certain socially constructed practices, such as appearance, actions, and attitudes. “In other words, acts, gestures, and desires produce the effect of an internal core or substance […] Such acts, gestures, enactments, generally construed, are performative in the sense that the essence or identity that they otherwise purport to express are fabrications […] (2548).  In other words, the idea of a “performance” of identity blurs the lines of a supposed “natural identity” by implying the socially constructed, “unnatural,” aspects of one’s identity. According to Butler, ambiguous identities work to undercut  identity “norms” that society creates.  In this way, the ambiguous pachuco culture crosses the lines, or borders, of society “norms” and work to undo these “norms.”

 

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