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Degli Esposti, Emanuelle (2017) 'The aesthetics of ritual--contested identities and conflicting performances in the Iraqi Shi’a diaspora: Ritual, performance and identity change.' Politics, 38 (1). pp. 68-83.

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What are the processes through which identity change takes place at the individual and collective level? How might a focus on embodied religious performance and ritual contribute to understandings of such identity change? Through an ethnographic analysis of the Muharram rituals of Iraqi Shi’is in London, I take religious rites as a starting point from which to theorise a performative theory of identity change to highlight the role of ritual and performance in shaping changing notions of identity at both the individual and collective level. Such a project necessarily engages both with processes of identity change and with the paradox of identity/difference, particularly the ways in which articulations of subjective identity are ontologically dependent on an external ‘other’. Ultimately, I argue that paying close critical attention to the performative and (re)iterative processes of micro-level identificatory practices allows a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms through which identity change comes to take effect, both at the level of individual subjectivity and that of collective social belonging.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Doctoral School
ISSN: 02633957
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2019 16:30

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