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Narrative Accounts of Origins

[journal article]

Prins, Baukje

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Abstract This article uses a study of the life-story narratives of former classmates of Dutch and Moluccan descent to argue that the constructionist approach to intersectionality, with its account of identity as a narrative construction rather than a practice of naming, offers better tools for answering questions concerning intersectional identity formation than a more systemic intersectional approach. The case study also highlights the importance of the quest for origins in narratives. It demonstrates that theories of intersectionality are not justified in subsuming the issue of belonging under the identity marker of ethnicity, when all identities are performatively produced in and through narrative enactments that include the precarious achievement of belonging. The case study demonstrates that if narrative accounts of a (singular or collective) life fail to achieve narrative closure regarding roots, attempts to trace routes are seriously hampered.
Keywords gender
Free Keywords class; constructionism; Dutch; ethnicity; identity; intersectionality; life stories; Moluccans; roots;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 277-290
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)