'Yep, I'm Gay': Understanding Agential Identity

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:571-599 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

What’s important about ‘coming out’? Why do we wear business suits or Star Trek pins? Part of the answer, we think, has to do with what we call agential identity. Social metaphysics has given us tools for understanding what it is to be socially positioned as a member of a particular group and what it means to self-identify with a group. But there is little exploration of the general relationship between self-identity and social position. We take up this exploration, developing an account of agential identity—the self-identities we make available to others. Agential identities are the bridge between what we take ourselves to be and what others take us to be. Understanding agential identity not only fills an important gap in the literature, but also helps us explain politically important phenomena concerning discrimination, malicious identities, passing, and code-switching. These phenomena, we argue, cannot be understood solely in terms of self-identity or social position.

Similar books and articles

Experience, agency, and personal identity.Marya Schechtman - 2005 - Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (2):1-24.
Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory.Jan E. Stets & Peter J. Burke - 2000 - Social Psychology Quarterly 63 (3):224-237.
Flexible occurrent control.Denis Buehler - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2119-2137.
Feminist Theory and the Question of Identity.Marion Smiley - 1993 - Women and Politics 13 (2):91-122.
Identity trouble: Disidentification and the problem of difference.Josè Medina - 2003 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (6):655-680.
Logic of identity.Bhikhu Parekh - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (3):267-284.
Queer Genes: Realism, Sexuality and Science.David Andrew Griffiths - 2016 - Journal of Critical Realism 15 (5):511-529.
The other side of agency.Soran Reader - 2007 - Philosophy 82 (4):579-604.
The gender regimes as reflection of power relations.Eleonora K. Skyba - 2015 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 7:103-110.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-03-20

Downloads
3,180 (#2,136)

6 months
371 (#4,977)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Robin Dembroff
Yale University
Catharine (Cat) Saint-Croix
University of Minnesota

Citations of this work

Real Talk on the Metaphysics of Gender.Robin Dembroff - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):21-50.
The Ethics of Expectations.Rima Basu - 2023 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol 13. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-169.
Beyond Binary: Genderqueer as Critical Gender Kind.Robin Dembroff - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (9):1-23.
A Tale of Two Doctrines: Moral Encroachment and Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu - 2021 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 99-118.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
What is a (social) structural explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.
The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability.Elizabeth Barnes - 2016 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Real Talk on the Metaphysics of Gender.Robin Dembroff - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):21-50.

View all 17 references / Add more references