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Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2019

Jennifer Purvis
Pages 45-67

Confronting the Power of Abjection
Toward a Politics of Shame

This analysis connects the resurgence of affect theory known as “the affective turn” with the locus of attention surrounding abjection and examines the workings of abjection within the logics of disgust and shame, as well as the political potential of shame. The abject not only informs structures of knowledge and power that govern how subjectivities and group formations are founded and regulated, but provides elements of fluidity and ambiguity that allow us to challenge the affective patterns associated with the abject and locate resources in shame that contribute to restructuring the terrain of politics beyond a simple conversion of shame to pride.

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