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Narrating public policy and identity: the case of SB 1070

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The stories that we tell matter. Public storytelling influences how we think about ourselves and how we treat others. This project explores how Arizona's Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) affected the development of social identities

The stories that we tell matter. Public storytelling influences how we think about ourselves and how we treat others. This project explores how Arizona's Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) affected the development of social identities such as citizen, immigrant (documented and undocumented), and public administrator through public storytelling. The question of how a public policy shapes identity development is relatively under-explored in the literature. Critical aspects of feminist and political theory demonstrate that identity is affected by discourses, such as performatives and accounts of oneself. A public policy authorizes public administrators to issue or demand discourses, such as performatives and accounts of oneself, from the individuals they encounter. Moreover, the text of a public policy resembles an account of oneself, delivered on behalf of a fabricated subject. In this project, the structural elements and storytelling techniques of SB 1070 are drawn out through tools derived from the field of narratology. When applied to the text of SB 1070, narratological tools reveal four major organizing principles or plots, all of which center on the identification and punishment of four types of individuals or organizations: (a) employers of undocumented immigrants; (b) transporters/shielders of undocumented immigrants; (c) undocumented immigrants; (d) state and local government agencies or officials that do not fully implement federal immigration law. An analysis of 321 news stories published after SB 1070's passage reveals that some plots resonated more than others with storytellers. The storytelling about SB 1070 also makes visible the policy's power as a discourse to unsettle the identities of citizens, immigrants (documented and undocumented), and public administrators. It also raises concerns about who bears the responsibility for the impact of policies like SB 1070, which have been passed but not implemented, and yet have a tangible impact on the lives of citizens and other residents. These findings suggest that not only can public policy unsettle social identities, but proposes complicated questions about who is responsible for the harm inflicted on others when a public policy is passed.

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2014

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Être Pédé et Pauvre: En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule’s Exploration of Poverty and Gay Performativity

Description

When discussing gay literature in the French, contemporary sphere, one of the most up
and coming and prominent authors is Édouard Louis. His works’ focus on the realism and
violence of the working class offers a critical and necessary perspective

When discussing gay literature in the French, contemporary sphere, one of the most up
and coming and prominent authors is Édouard Louis. His works’ focus on the realism and
violence of the working class offers a critical and necessary perspective of the gay experience in
modern-day France. While recent in their creation, Louis’ works follow a connecting thread that
is inseparable from other autofiction novels that have a narrator with same sex attractions such as
Annie Ernaux’s Ce qu’ils disent or rien and Didier Eribon’s Retour à Reims. Often commonly
discussed as French LGBT literature, these autofictional works that extend from Gide to Eribon
to now Louis demonstrate how the proposed societal dualities, limitations, and hierarchies
described by philosophers like Michel Foucault and Judith Butler affect homosexual
performativity. Louis’ first novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, published on January 2, 2014,
offers another illustration of this analysis. It specifically describes the metaphysical
(metaphysical being the relationship between the outer stimuli and internal perspective) effects
and constraints of current poverty on homosexual performativity. By analyzing En finir avec
Eddy Bellegueule through this theoretical framework of power and poverty, this thesis adds a
theoretical and intersectional nuance to the narrative voice that current literature focusing on the
novel’s landscape mentions but does not reflect on. I argue that it is important to attach an
autofictional timeline that is necessary to promote and apply future ontological doctrines to this
genre.

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2021-05