Claiming Rights and Performing Citizenship
This chapter explores the performativity of the claims in the context of the debate over same-sex marriage. It analyzes rights claims made by both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage rights to illuminate the ways in which making rights claims allows for the contestation and reconstitution of the meaning of democratic citizenship. This chapter thus offers a rejoinder to left critics of rights, such as Michael Warner and Wendy Brown, who worry that rights claiming reinforces state power and undermines democratic freedom, and it does so, in part, by offering a new interpretation of Michel Foucault’s notion of disciplinary power and his position on rights. It also works with the arguments of Judith Butler to further develop the perlocutionary and persuasive dimensions of the act of rights claiming.
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