poststructural analysis disrupts/reinscribes marginalized positions

 

What happens when, in the context of an inquiry, one writes about the ongoing marginalization of a particular identity/subjectivity (such as that of a spiritual animist)? While helpful in corroborating my experiences, poststructural (and other) analyses also seemed to maintain a position as marginalized, quite possibly since speech (and writing) have the power to (re)inscribe discourses. And as St. Pierre (2000) suggests, "[o]nce a discourse becomes 'normal' and 'natural,' it is difficult to think and act outside it" (p. 485).

 

Given that language and everyday action are productive, in speaking and writing of ongoing marginalization might that same subjectivity/identity be reinscribed as such? This is one of the risks of poststructural analyses. It is a both/and tool. Thus, while poststructural analysis helped make visible ways in which speaking of and through ancient ways of knowing were being (re)produced as illegitimate, the pointing out of this marginalization also served to maintain it. Furthermore, the notion that every statement is contingent made it difficult to 'hold on to' a marginalized position (see Jones & Jenkins, 2008) – one that had to be spoken into existence regularly, rather than being invisibly taken for granted, as is the case with modernist (and more recently in many academic contexts, post-) epistemological and ontological positioning within the contexts that I was working.