Salar Mohandesi: “Identity Crisis”

“Instead of taking for granted the existence of a collection of bounded, undifferentiated, organic communities, perhaps we should look to the concept of class composition, that is, tracking the correlation between the manner in which a class is materially constituted at a specific moment in history and the manner in which that class composes itself, or how it actively combines the different parts of itself to construct into a single force. Instead of making assumptions about the needs of marginalized people, perhaps it might be worth undertaking concrete inquiries and self-inquiries to discover what people really want, why they have adopted certain political positions.  Finally, instead of assuming an automatic link between one’s DNA and one’s politics, we should turn to the concept of articulation to understand the contingent ways that different subjects arrive at different politics. … By challenging deterministic thinking, articulation can better explain why people adopt seemingly alien political positions, why antagonistic social forces enter into contradictory alliances, and why those who may not immediately face a particular oppression may still be in a position to combat those oppressions.”