Outspeak: Narrating Identities That Matter Book

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Outspeak: Narrating Identities That Matter Details

What does it mean to claim to be gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, straight, or to belong to some racial category, or to be a teenager or a senior citizen? Taking as its focal point the articulation of sexual orientation, Outspeak adopts a narrative approach to understanding professions of identity that does justice to the fears of those who recognize the potential of such labels to oppress, marginalize, and silence. It explores the ways in which professing identity speaks the truth and demands a hearing. In so doing, it addresses the fears of people who see attacks on "gay" and "lesbian" identities as erasing and silencing those who find a voice through them.

To understand the implications of the narrative structure of identity for liberatory praxis, O'Connell enlists the work of theorists such as Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and engages continental thinkers such as Ricoeur, Levinas, Heidegger, and Lyotard, whose ideas add much to the development of a narrative theory.

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