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The Descriptive Purchase of Performativity

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Abstract:

In this paper, I examine the politics of performativity that Judith Butler develops in Excitable Speech. In particular, I assess the usefulness of Butler's talk of performativity for describing discursive events involving victimised subjects. I propose that performativity's descriptive purchase is best gauged by foregrounding its presuppositions, and that these last include a Peircean conception of semiosis and a rhetorical postulate of genre.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735784.2012.657913

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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