Date of Award

5-1-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Speech Communication

First Advisor

Toyosaki, Satoshi

Abstract

At the heart of this dissertation project is my interest in the internal conflict that emerges in the mundane navigation and maintenance of relational and contextual penalty and privilege. That is to say, I am interested in how individuals maneuver their/our concurrent identity/ies as oppressor and oppressed. I argue that this simultaneous identity is a holistic embodiment that demands complex maneuvering and that requires our vigilant attention. In addition, I am interested in the critical potential of such maneuvering for activism. In this vein, I introduce my intent to queer the limits of identity research in critical intercultural communication research while contributing to, and drawing on, what others have referred to as queer intersectionality (Bilge, 2012; Rosenblum, 1994). I envision queer intersectionality as an ontological modality that yields heuristic potentiality that can aid critical intercultural communication researchers explore the ways in which we embody a simultaneous oppressor-oppressed identity. In order to understand queer intersectionality as an ontological modality, I offer embodied contexts that give rise to oppression and power in given and fleeting moments. Halualani and Nakayama (2010) remind us that “critical work recognizes that there is no theory in advance and no social process of culture without some theoretical sense-making; it travels through a trajectory of theory from and towards context” (p. 9). Centralizing the directed attention upon the significance of context, I intend queer intersectionality to be an embodied modality that critical intercultural communication researchers can use to explore and theorize simultaneous oppressor-oppressed identity performances and critically envision the co-constitutive relationship between privilege and disadvantage.

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