Identity is neither a biological determined essence nor a free choice but ‘comes to us from the outside’ (Mansfield 2000:169). Critically discuss this position with reference to Foucault’s ideas of d
Word Length: 2000 words (excluding the reference list)
Identity is neither a biological determined essence nor a free choice but ‘comes to us from the outside’ (Mansfield 2000:169). Critically discuss this position with reference to Foucault’s ideas of discourse and discursive practices, and their role in the formation of the subject. You should ground your analysis in one or two aspects of identity that we have analyzed in this unit (choose from among gender, sexuality, race, and disability, or a specific aspect thereof).
Minimum research requirements: You must draw on at least six appropriate academic publications including a minimum of two from the Leganto readings and a minimum of three independently sourced readings. Any essay that fails to meet this minimum requirement will receive a grade of no more than 60% (Pass).
Remember: everything you borrow from these academic sources (including paraphrased and summarised material in addition to direct quotation) must be correctly referenced.
Marking criteria: You will be marked on the following criteria in this essay:
7) Extent to which the essay focuses on and responds to the question.
8) Quality of analysis; substantiation of argument; selection and use of appropriate research
9) Identification of appropriate concepts, theorists, debates, etc.
10) Essay structure: statement of aims in the introduction; organisation of material (your
argument should develop in a logical manner); conclusion.
11) Written English expression
12) Appropriate Harvard Style referencing (in-text citation and list of references).
Thesis: Your essay should have a thesis, where a thesis is not a topic but a claim. The essay will focus on arguing in favour of that claim.
Essay structure: the essay should have an introductory paragraph that clearly states the thesis and outlines the stages through which the essay will move in order to support that thesis. The body of the essay is where you make the argument, and the concluding
paragraph should restate the thesis and the main argument points covered in the body of the essay. Remember: no new material in the conclusion.
Paragraphs: paragraphs are not lists of sentences but groups of sentences collected around a single theme. Each paragraph must make a contribution to the overall argument. For your essay to be coherent it must continually indicate the relationship that exists
amongst the claims/points you are making. You can do this by using words such as ‘however’, ‘in addition’, ‘on the other hand’, ‘firstly’, ‘conversely’, etc.
Take some time to consider the sequence of the points in your argument. No matter how good the points are in themselves, if they are in an ill‐considered or illogical order then your argument won’t be as successful as it could be.
Citing research: our arguments are only as strong as the sources we use to support that argument. Make certain that you are drawing on ideas from academic publications and not journalism or unsophisticated opinion pieces. Make certain your sources are up-todate: an old source often means old knowledge. Use the library’s databases, don’t rely solely on google scholar when looking for appropriate readings. No matter how well written an essay with insufficient, old or non-disciplinary sources it will be ineffective. Also, don’t only cite sources that support the position you are taking. You can also cite viewpoints in order to refute or clarify them. You can
incorporate the ideas of others in forms other than direct quotation: use summaries and paraphrases as alternatives. Don’t forget to cite/reference everything you borrow from your research.
Try to be specific, if you’re using a particular theory, which theorist came up with the theory/concept? For example, if you are writing about discourse or power draw on Foucault; if you are discussing performativity then use Butler.
• Don’t just reproduce the arguments and examples from the lectures and tutorials. Choosing your own examples is a good and relatively straightforward first step in developing an individual analysis. Finding your own examples demonstrates a level of understanding beyond that of just regurgitating examples from class.
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