Skip to Main Content

This chapter distinguishes between two registers of vulnerability through the notion of “agon.” The risk associated with precarity arises from the differential exposure to visibility, support systems, and vital resources (Butler). But risk can also be construed through the notion of plurality, as an “ex-posure” to difference, liminality, new experiences, and the unpredictability of outcome. While precarity implies antagonism, plurality can be qualified as agonistic. In Hannah Arendt’s thought and the Occupy Gezi movement, being affected by others can only be construed as a loss under conditions of antagonism; but agonistic action—comprising the risk of distinguishing oneself, of discord and difference with respect to others and to oneself—might constitute the very condition of possibility of responsiveness. It might be that without risking one’s identity one cannot sustain it either. This perspective has important implications for gendered relations and for collective action against local, cultural, national, or global structures of subjugation under neoliberalism.

Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal