Full Text

Performativity

Charalambos Tsekeris

Subject Philosophy
Sociology » Sociological and Social Theory

Key-Topics performativity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

Through the 1990s, many scholars, following the epistemological path paved by the “crisis of representation” and the “linguistic turn,” have been led to a “praxis-oriented” or “performative” turn of knowledge ( Ellis 2004 ). This amounts to a radical move from the Cartesian split of mind/body/spirit to a relational epistemology of co-emergence, from “representation” to “participation”, from the rational to the embodied. In such a viewpoint, knowledge is a participative and transformative social process which can be seen as actively performed through bodies, texts, spoken words, or visual images, and displayed as movement. From feminism (Butler) and critical theory (Bourdieu) to ethnography (Denzin) and science studies (Knorr Cetina), performativity is critically considered as a relational, embodied practice, as requiring bodily competence and physical work, or as creatively engaging with the material world of practices, things, texts, artifacts, and technologies. Performativity is thus a useful mode of theorizing and practicing the multiple ways in which social reality comes into being. It lies in the widely accepted linguistic emphasis on meaning and the well-known constructionist premise that acquiring knowledge does not involve an accurate mimetic reflection (re-presentation) of the world, but is associated with a relationally embedded human activity which substantially alters ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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