RETHINKING GENDER, RETHINKING MIGRATION: Wherever One Wants to Go. Rosi Braidotti’s Concept of a ‘Nomadic Subject’
and Its Philosophical Possibilities

Marzena Adamiak 1
1 - IFiS, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
2016; 17 (3):
ICID: 1231716
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The ideas embedded in Enlightenment concepts of subjectivity, understood as a coherent
and rational identity, have established a universal perspective for a long time. Today,
this outlook is being questioned by the experience of difference. The voices of minorities
demanding acceptance and representation, both in social practice and in theory, have become
more audible. But while theory allows for radical mental conclusions, the social and
existential practices require positive theoretical solutions. A postmodern deconstructed
subject does not constitute a sufficient basis for social activity or political identification.
Therefore, a significant challenge for the feminist theory today is to find a form for the
social subjectivity and, at the same time, avoid an oppressive and reductive category. Rosi
Braidotti employed the Deleuzian figure of a nomad, and proposed a concept of a subject
being resistant to postmodern fragmentation. She made a distinction between identity
and subjectivity: identity is rooted in the unconscious, while subjectivity is conscious and
a source of political resistance. The resistance is not due to stronger foundations, in comparison
to the Cartesian subject, but results from mobility and openness to the Other. Attempting
to construct a clearly positive conception of a subject, Braidotti proposes ‘a nomadic
political project’. The question is: is it possible to put this idea into a social reality or
do we have just another sophisticated theoretical concept?

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