A Deleuzian analysis of reproductive justice politics
Underwood, Stanley Edgar
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This thesis examines and critiques the prevalence of identity politics discourses in the reproductive justice movement. It is argued that identity politics reproduce logics of essentialism and social power that suppress difference in the interest of social control. The thesis then turns to a consideration the potential value of a Deleuzian ontological theory of the formation of political groups outside regimes of representation. These groups are held together by affects emerging from shared experience, as opposed to a common representation. In addition to arguing for the utility of this political paradigm on conceptual grounds, the thesis also contains descriptions and analyses of empirical evidence for the existence of affect-based social collectivities. It is argued that these collectivities, called “subjectless groups” constitute radical forms of being-in-common with profound significance for our understanding of political activity.