Lauren Berlant Talks About Style

Dear Tracy,

This is not really a full response to your prior letter, which I will attend to soon, but I came across this while reading Berlant’s article-version of “The Female Complaint” that quite resonantes with our recent discussion on taste and material signifiers of identity (stereotypically female?):

At the same time, women whose racial and class-.positions mark differential relations to the Bourgeois Symbolic will have an alienated, half- or just less-articulated relation to its inescapable and universalized popular and mass cultural productions. In late Capitalism, these kinds of disarticulations of the subject with “her” culture are absorbed by a notion of style that ostensibly liberates the female subject by linking her membership in her gender to the consumption of goods and services that operate as the expression of what the woman “always already” was.

Pretty great, eh? The book is on its way from Amazon to me as we speak.



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