Sample Term Paper

Term Paper: Judith Butler’s work on the notion of performativity is one of the most substantial research in social sciences and particularly appealing to researcher studying the inequalities or distribution in the society, such as discrimination on the basis of race, gender etc (Baldwin, 2004). The paper by Minelle Mahtani and Mary Thomas discuss the issue of social division through racism by using this notion. Both papers discuss the same issue from different perspective with Mahtani discussing how the racism exist in the Canadian society and how people from different ethnicities feel and react to it. Thomas on the other hand, discusses the existence of the concept of racism among teenagers in America by evaluating from her interviews with school students from black and white races and how their performance bolster the division among them despite them having no knowledge about it.

In her paper, Mahtani investigates the complex relationship that is present between performativity and racialization by building up a Butlerian approach to performativity. In the paper, Mahtani has suggest that  while according to Butler, gender is a regulatory function, race can also regarded as a regulatory function which implies that the social performance occurs in a constraint spaces with racial border guards constantly on patrol to tackle any attempt to blur the classification that occurs naturally in the society. Mahtani also mentions the cases of several women of ‘mixed race’ who gave out complex racialized performance in order to disrupt often offending and dual reading of their racialized identities. As a proof to this, Mahtani has quoted interviewed from a number of ‘mixed raced’ females who have reworked their identities and disrupt social values associated with the seeing of race ( Mahtani, 2002).

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