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Mapping Identity and Identification Processes

Approaches from Cultural Studies

Edited By Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo and Angel Mateos-Aparicio Martin-Albo

This book deals with the subject of identity and identification within contemporary cultural studies and includes a selection of papers from the 14th International ‘Culture & Power’ Conference held in Ciudad Real, Spain, in 2010. The volume contributes to contemporary debates on identity-construction practices from various theoretical positions in different social, historic and national contexts. The initial section presents various theoretical discussions on how identity construction and identification phenomena are framed within current disciplinary debates about cultural studies and its future as an academic inter- and transdisciplinary field of enquiry. In the following sections, identity and identification processes are analysed from a variety of perspectives.
In particular, the articles delve into the construction of marginalised identities and the exploration of identification processes that subvert dominant, established or accepted cultural identities. The authors explore the role of print media and videogames in constructing and representing identities; they examine the construction of masculinities and femininities in film, music and gay liberation movements; they analyse the interplay between globalisation and nationalism and its impact on cultural products in Asia or Africa; and provide examples of cultural history approaches to the articulation of several national identities. Considered together, the chapters engage with the most relevant concerns pervading identity theory and cultural studies today.

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Part I. Identity and Identification in Cultural Studies: Theorerical Debates 33

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Part I: Identity and Identification in Cultural Studies: Theoretical Debates LAWRENCE GROSSBERG Cultural Studies in the Contemporary I. Cultural Studies Emergences For decades, one of the predominant ways in which we have talked about or debated within (progressive, evolutionary, militant, leftist) critical efforts to understand “what’s going on” have divided such work into two camps, even if those camps have been rather porous, heterogeneous and even overlapping. Whether modernist versus post- modernist, humanist versus structuralist, critique versus autonomy, marxist versus anarchist, etc., there are always positions that do not fit comfortably into either position, or belong obviously in the spaces between them. There are always positions that, while sitting somewhat comfortably within a camp, nevertheless sit rather uncomfortably with some of the others who inhabit the spaces of the particular camp. The field of political-intellectual work is always more complex than any such simple binaries allow, most obviously because there are nu- merous dimensions of agreements and disagreements, convergences and divergences, across which the various positions, commitments and projects might be distributed. Nevertheless, the binary model of camps continues to persist, and more often than not, the separation is presented in rather hostile terms. The resulting conversations are often rather discouraging, not least because each side rarely recognizes that the diversity of the other side may mean that it has some important insights to contribute. Instead of seeing theoretical, empirical, analytic and political statements (in the broadest senses) as transversal lines that can intersect and articulate each other into multiple...

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