Enough is enough

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This paper contributes to an empirical theory of identity in a context of superdiversity by offering a heuristic for engaging with the complex and dynamic identity processes in superdiverse societies today, both online and offline. We define identity practices as discursive orientations towards sets of features that are (or can be) seen as emblematic of particular identities. Such practices revolve around a complex and unpredictable notion of authenticity, which in turn rests on judgements of ‘enoughness’. We will show how authenticity is manufactured by blending a variety of semiotic resources, some of which are sufficient (‘enough’) to produce a particular targeted authentic identity, and consequently enable others to identify us as ‘real’, ‘authentic’ members of social groups in different niches of our social and cultural lives – within different ‘micro-hegemonies’. The framework sketched here, based on ethnographic inquiries, intends to offer a realistic, anti-essentialist approach to studying the complexities of contemporary identity practices.


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