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‘I Am the Ultimate Challenge’

[journal article]

Buitelaar, Marjo

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Abstract This article aims to demonstrate that the concept of the ‘dialogical self’ is an identity theory that provides useful tools for studying intersectionality. In terms of the dialogical self, the formation of identity is a process of orchestrating voices within the self that speak from different I-positions. Such voices are embedded in field-specific repertoires of practices, characters, discourses and power relations specific to the various groups to which individuals simultaneously belong. By telling one's life-story, the individual intones these voices and combines them in new ways, thus reshaping them as they use them. The article applies the theoretical concept of the dialogical self to the analysis of the life-story of a relatively well-known female Dutch politician of Moroccan background whose explanation of why she wears a headscarf allows her to combine the religious and political voices in her story with her more hesitant female voice. The words, images and self-evaluations used in her self-narratives demonstrate the ways in which her religious, ethnic and gender identifications are formed and are in dialogue.
Keywords Islam
Free Keywords dialogical self; life-story; Moroccan migrants in the Netherlands; narrative identity;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 259-276
Journal European Journal of Women's Studies, 13 (2006) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)