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This chapter inquires whether the “primitive,” which serves as both one structuralist insight that Malabou draws upon, and as a symbolic point around which colonialism patterns its own structures of symbolic meaning and violence, can be made vulnerable to the concept of plasticity. This question is pursued by focusing on two aspects of the colonial legal form in order to assess its plasticity: its resistance to and deformation by anticolonial efforts. First, this chapter turns to an analysis of the limits of indigenous recognition. It then discusses colonial biopolitics through which the juridical negotiates its own limits. In this discussion, the chapter examines the intermixture of science and law regulating territorial communities and its critical potential. Examples drawn from Canada and Hawai”i, two settler colonial societies, illustrate the arguments.

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