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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Wilkerson on Gay Experience and Identity  

2010-05-25 22:20:19|  分类: 同性恋理论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Wilkerson on Gay Experience and Identity

 254

      Gay identity is tied to existing social and political structures as well as an accurate understanding of a ‘pregay’ individual’s experience.

      I discuss how the realist theory avoids the pitfalls of foundationalist epistemologies without having to go the route of postmodernism.

 258

      In order for something to appear as a ‘patch of red,’ it must be distinguished from a background.

      Being able to identify a particular experience implies being able to distinguish it from what is not. [Nothing can be totalizing.]

 260

      Anger has both a reactive and an anticipatory element, such that it causes happenings to be experienced as frustrating, as much as the happenings in turn cause my anger. Any experience is not separable from my attentiveness to it in analyzing it as an experience.  (Husserl)

      A second feature of experience is that what we notice is not merely the result of passive perception or the mechanical action of experience upon us. Instead, our expectations and life histories polarize and structure our experience.  (Heidegger)

 264

      Discovering/recognizing a pattern on a sheet of paper. Elements of our experience have meaning only in relation to each other, just like the elements of the pattern.

 265

      There are more accurate understandings of experience.

 266

      Coming out – both discovery and construction. – realist view of experience.

      I think it is more coherent to construe coming out as transformation: the development of a new identity based on a reinterpretation of experiences. [Still subject to interpretation: identity and experience – reinterpretation of experiences results in a new identity]. This new identity reflects a new and more accurate understanding of who one is in the world and how one can act in the world. Coming out allows gays or lesbians to better organize salient aspects of their experience, to gain an understanding of themselves that will help them to understand their place in the world and to develop modes of life and personalities that stem from this new understanding. [This argument never explains ideology or discourse away from the new and more accurate understanding of who gays and lesbians are].

 266-7

      Homosexual experiences are real, but homosexuality is a modern construct. So it is both real and constructed.

 272

      Scott – Experience is a linguistic event that does not happen outside established meanings. Accordingly, experience cannot be understood apart from language, and since language is a social and historical creation, ‘historical processes, through discourse, position subjects and produce their experience.’

 273

      Fuss: Experience is the product of an ideology [ideology as the “origin” of experience].

      If she means all experience is an ideological production, then it is not possible to explain how we could actually come to have knowledge that our experience is the product of ideology. Knowledge and understanding of the world must come from some source. Presumably the source of most of it is our experience or what we infer and discover through reflection on that experience [Wilkerson’s own assumption: experience as the origin of knowledge]. If all of that experience is somehow distorted or ideological [classical Marxist] [Fuss’s idea of experience? Wilkerson’s own assumption: some of our experience is neutral to begin with], then we could never have experience that is not ideological [postmodernist]. Ideology would then become total and inescapable, and capacity to distinguish it as ideology would therefore collapse.  [Wilkerson’s own definition of experience problematic. Misrepresenting Fuss’s argument: experience as a product of ideology. Conclusion for experience as something non-ideological or neutral is only a repetition of his own assumption in the first place. Double meaning of “experience” and double meaning of ‘ideological” in Wilkerson.]

       Scott: Discursive practices produce our experience and identity.

      If discursive practices actually produce our experience and identity, then the origin and reliability of my knowledge of these discursive practices becomes highly questionable [assuming discursive practices are ideological/distorted as opposed to "neutral" "real"]. If my knowledge of these identity- and experience-forming practices comes through experience, then it would seem that we are back to taking experience as the starting point for knowledge. [If my knowledge comes through experience, not Scott’s point, but Wikerson’s own assumpition, then it would seem that we are back to taking experience as the starting point for knowledge – conclusion only a repetition of his own assumption].

      If my knowledge is not had through experience, then it seems we require a nonexperiential source of knowledge: either knowledge of these things would be innate (which is absurd), or knowledge of them would be an inference to the best explanation of the source of my experience.

[Innate knowledge or knowledge as an inference from experience (unreliable without experience to test its validity); why not a third one: knowledge produced by discursive practices; what produces experience also produces our knowledge about that experience].

 274

      If Fuss’s and Scott’s theories face similar difficulties, it is because they share the same, flawed assumption. Both assume as a starting point a false dichotomy between an absolute and self-evidently meaningful experience and an experience that is produced, contingent, and typically ideological. When the foundationalist view then fails, they are forced to take on the other view, which is equally as ‘totalizing’ as the foundationalist view they leave behind. Fuss, for example, describes the contrast as existing between the view that either experience is ‘real and immediate presence and therefore… a reliable means of knowing,’ or it is ‘itself a product of ideological practices’ and is therefore 'fundamentally unreliable’ (114). [Fuss’s own argument or summing up of the dichotomy of others’ arguments?]

 277

      The realist theory: experience can both be mediated and grant more and less accurate knowledge via reflections on the part of subjects who are willing to look closely at their experience. [more less accurate knowledge based on what?]

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