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(Im)possibilities of passing and queering
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Division of Health and Culture.
2006 (English)In: From Orientalism to Postcoloniality: Conference at Södertörn University College, April 27-30, 2006, 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In relation to different modifications on contemporary games of ethnicity, present among young people in Swedish multiethnic environments, a similarity with the phenomenon of passing is suggested. Passing usually refers to a movement from one side to another (the foundational example being from black to white). You pass over or through something and you may pass into a position from which you later retire. Judith Butler has given theoretical attention to the phenomenon of passing by stressing its relation to the act of queering. The connection between passing and queering comes about as a challenge of borders between what is presumed to be different races in addition to a challenge of the heteronormative order of gender and sexuality.

From an empirical material, consisting of interviews of young women in a multiethnic Swedish suburb, the phenomenon of passing will be discussed through examples on how young people can talk about the act of faking ethnicity. What ethnic positions are aspired as desirable may depend on intersecting categories as gender, sexuality and class identifications. In the reactions and comments on these kind of acts two counter positions seem to collide, one being based in the idea of authenticity and the other being a strive to oppose on absolutist definitions of ethnicity. If origin, roots and a firmly anchored cultural identity are seen as necessary or preferred values for the individuals’ or the ethnic groups’ self respect, passing must be interpreted as negative. But if certain acknowledgements become repressive rather than liberating passing may be a way of question and transgress normative ethnic and gendered status.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006.
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
HUMANITIES, Cultural studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-2019DiVA, id: diva2:279933
Available from: 2009-12-07 Created: 2009-12-07 Last updated: 2009-12-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • nn-NB
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