Anticipating and inhabiting institutional identities


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Rather than simply silencing or excluding actors, contemporary U.S. institutions commonly assign ways of speaking to the identities they forge and, therefore, preestablish ways of hearing the people who have come to inhabit them. Although institutional power is thereby reinscribed when “subalterns speak,” people can also inhabit such identities, and speak from these designated locales, in politically efficacious ways. Examining the rhetorical practices of clients and social workers at one institutional site, I highlight the process of anticipatory interpellation—reading how one is hailed as a particular kind of institutional subject and responding as such.

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