Mobilising the global significance of multidisciplinary discourses of performativity: lessons from an Australian major league baseballer in the United States and Australian circus performers

Wilson-Gahan, Susan and Mason, Robert and Danaher, P. A. (2014) Mobilising the global significance of multidisciplinary discourses of performativity: lessons from an Australian major league baseballer in the United States and Australian circus performers. In: Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines (CADAAD2014), 1-3 Sept 2014, Budapest, Hungary.

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The discursive construction and expression of multiple forms of identities (self and other; individual, group and community; local, national and international) continue to exercise scholars across a wide range of disciplines, who in turn sometimes seek to exorcise less constructive and enabling representations of certain kinds of marginalised identities. This multi-valenced character of identity discourses is illustrated starkly in the very different status and forms of capital of two occupationally mobile communities with whom this paper is concerned. One group is the highly successful internationally mobile major league baseball players – specifically in this case an Australian player who spent many years travelling the baseball circuits in the United States. The other group is the circuses who travel from place to place in Australia providing public entertainment based on equally specialised skill sets.

The paper presents a critically engaged and theoretically informed discourse analysis of empirical data collected with the two groups. The analysis is framed by selected aspects of Judith Butler’s notion of performativity, augmented with more recent theorisation in the field
and taking note of the critiques of the concept. The analysis interrogates the discourses of mobility and performativity across the three disciplines of sports biography, life course studies and the sociology of education, in the process distilling areas of potential convergence while acknowledging the appropriate aspects of disciplinary specificity. The analysis is clustered around the emergent organising themes of constructions of home, selfhood and otherness, and multiple identities created and communicated through repeated performances of evolving skills. The paper concludes by examining possible implications of this analysis for contemporary debates about global discourses related to in/equality, discrimination and marginalisation, with particular reference to current and possible future developments in the
European polity and society.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Only the Abstract, as supplied here, was published in the Conference Proceedings.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2015 00:28
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2017 05:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: occupationally mobile communities; major league baseball players; circus performers; global significance
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2099 Other Language, Communication and Culture > 209999 Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210304 Biography
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified

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