Where Are You Really from?: Normative Schemes of Intelligibility and Encounters of Address
Drawing on Judith Butler’s concept of ‘normative schemes of intelligibility’ this paper explores the constraints both imposed and implicit within encounters of address: when one is addressed or is called on to respond to that address, they must do so in a way which fits within existing normative schemes, including those of nationalism, and neoliberalism. These social and socialized limitations in terms of address, and the repetitive calls to ‘give an account of oneself’ may lead to significant consequences including those of double alienation and rupture, which will also be examined.
Drawing on empirical evidence obtained through of series of in-depth interviews with multiple citizenship status holders, in Australia and Greece – from which the opening quotation is sourced – this paper explores the limitations encountered when one is called on to give an account of oneself, and in the at-times violent address they receive from others.