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Book: Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion

Chapter: 9. Authorizing Identifications, Disciplining Techniques: The Affinities of Public Advocacy

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24313


Here, Steven Ramey looks to the upheaval upon celebrity Selena Gomez donning an accessory of clothing traditionally ascribed to “Hindu” culture for introduction to an essay, “Affinities, Benefits, and Costs: The ABCs of Good Scholars Gone Public” where Russell T. McCutcheon critiques historian of religion Bruce Lincoln for having failed to attend to Lincoln’s own stated suggestions about identity, authority, and who and how it is wielded. As Ramey suggests, “asserting an identification can serve as the basis for asserting authority over assets, information, and membership, but those assertions of authority frequently cloak the promotion of affinities for particular ideas with the illusion that the identification is stable, rather than an ephemeral construction that also reflects some of those affinities.” The end result is a chapter indicative of the varied discursive structures that constitute authority and disciplines for those communities of affinity regarded as “cultures.”

Chapter Contributors

  • Steven Ramey ( - sramey) 'University of Alabama'