Nomadic Trails in the Unfolding of the Self

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Tamboukou, Maria (2004)

In this paper I explore possibilities of using nomadology as a lens to look at what is happening in the lives of young women today, particularly raising questions of how they stand or move in relation to a web of discourses, practices, subject positions and spaces. Making connections between Deleuze and Guattari's influential work with feminist nomadic inquiries, I attempt to draw diagrams of multiplicities in the becoming of female subjectivities. Drawing on secondary analysis of existing ethnographic data, I focus on young black women’s 'moments of becoming' that can be described as rhizomatic: ways of being at home without being rooted in a place, an identity, a memory. In therefore following points of movement along rhizomatic paths of becoming, I attempt to rethink questions of what it means to be at home, what it means to be estranged, what it means to move in between space/time boundaries. Like a tent put up in the desert, nomadism, I suggest, shelters new images of thought about what potentially exists ‘outside’ any gendered and racialized social order framing young women’s lives today. Enmeshed in the complexities of these lives, nomadism further highlights analyses of new modes of being or rather of becoming, no longer constrained within closed identity boundaries.
  • References (5)

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    Tamboukou, M.,and Ball, S., J. (2002) 'Nomadic Subjects, young black women in the UK' in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Vol. 23, No.3 (forthcoming).

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