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Identifying to dis-identify: occidentalist feminism, the Delhi gang rape case and its internal others

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Euro-American feminism’s embeddedness in a neo-liberal geo-political framework has created new though contested spaces for knowledge production among scholars, practitioners and policy-makers. In particular, a theoretical tool that has lost its transformatory potential is disidentification, specifically as a signifier for forging collective activism within Europe. In the age of global mobility and border-crossings, Western feminist disidentification is increasingly framed through a pre-conceived notion of the ‘other’ as dis-empowered, exotic and violent. These faulty identifications rather than integrating multi-ethnic intersectional identities deepen the cleavages, especially within the academy. This article draws on two case studies that emerged following the Delhi gang rape case (2012) in New Delhi, India. These studies highlight how debates within the western academy are largely framed from the standpoint of the empowered European feminist self. Thus disidentification, rather than being a process for unpacking hegemonic discourses, becomes, instead, yet another way of packaging new hierarchies of knowledge.
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Keywords: Disidentification; India; Munoz; gender; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Government, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Institutionen för Tema (TEMA)/Tema Genus (TEMAG), Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, Sweden

Publication date: July 3, 2018

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