Abstract

Abstract:

Precarity has become a keyword used to designate social and economic destabilization in a range of contexts. Despite the prevalence of the term, the political implications of burgeoning precarity remain undertheorized. Through an examination of the work of Gloria Anzaldúa, this article argues that the politics of precarity should be understood in relation to the ambivalence precarization generates and exacerbates. I chart Anzaldúa's changing conception of what ambivalence is and how to address it politically by focusing on three figures she employs to depict different modes of inhabiting ambivalence: Shiva, Mestiza, and Nepantlera. While most scholarly attention has concentrated on Anzaldúa's notion of "mestiza consciousness," I propose that she reconceives ambivalence and precarity through the figure of the Nepantlera. As I demonstrate, Anzaldúa moves from an almost Hegelian understanding of transforming fragmentation and instability into a higher form of unity to a conception that turns psychic division, political conflict, and ontological ambiguity from conditions to transcend or resolve into conditions of possibility.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1520
Print ISSN
0732-1562
Pages
pp. 77-93
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-26
Open Access
No
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