Narrative Accounts of Origins: A Blind Spot in the Intersectional Approach?

European Journal of Women's Studies 13 (3):277-290 (2006)
Abstract
This paper uses a study of the life story narratives of former classmates of Dutch and Moluccan descent to argue that the constructionist <span class='Hi'>approach</span> to intersectionality, with its account of identity as a <span class='Hi'>narrative</span> construction rather than a practice of naming, offers better tools for answering questions concerning intersectional identity formation than a more systemic intersectional <span class='Hi'>approach</span>. The case study also highlights the importance of the quest for origins in narratives. It demonstrates that theories of intersectionality are unjustified in subsuming the issue of belonging under the identity marker of ethnicity, when all identities are performatively produced in and through <span class='Hi'>narrative</span> enactments that include belonging. Belongingness is a precarious achievement. The case study illustrates that if <span class='Hi'>narrative</span> accounts of a (singular or collective) life fail to achieve <span class='Hi'>narrative</span> closure regarding roots, attempts to trace routes are seriously hampered.
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