Of discursive passports and checkpoints

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This commentary advances the notions of passports and checkpoints as heuristics through which to theorise the external and internal push and pull of identity and desire within specific regimes of normativities and geopolitical imbalances. More specifically, passporting happens when normative regimes of representations issue what one could call discursive passports – that is, institutionalised identity bundles, which sediment over time, defining individuals as specific ‘types’. Such discursive passports are no less harmful than their material counterparts because they can constrain people’s access to resources in more pervasive and far-reaching ways than their identity documents do. On the other hand, checkpoints are interactional moments in which people police themselves and others in everyday interactions. Checkpoints can be 1) external, when one’s discursive positionings or emotional expressions are questioned or even blocked by other people, or 2) internal, when people police their sense of belonging and affective practices such as desire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-455
Number of pages10
JournalGender and Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language

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