Chapter

1. Introduction: An Ethics of Betrayal

Crystal Parikh

in An Ethics of Betrayal

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230426
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235070 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823230426.003.0001

Series: American Literatures Initiative

1. Introduction: An Ethics of Betrayal

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This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to investigate the structures of knowledge and feeling upon which betrayals depend, through which traitors are forged, and which these acts of betrayal transform. In particular, the book reads betrayals as performances of social difference in the context of Asian American and Latina/o racial formation and literary and cultural production. By adopting an ethical mode of inquiry to read what are described as “parables” of betrayal, this book asks what the possibilities and limitations of minority discourse are with respect to projects of democracy and social justice for “the Other.” It is argued that betrayals can perform a cultural critique of the social conditions by which the minority subject comes into being and of the possibilities for agency and transformation available to that subject once it has come into being. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.

Keywords: betrayal; traitors; Asian Americans; Latinos; minority discourse

Chapter.  11431 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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