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Analysis Of Bonnie Norton 's ' The Question ' Who Am I ' Essay

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In Bonnie Norton’s Fact and Fiction in Language Learning (2000), she writes, “The question ‘Who am I?’ cannot be understood apart from the question ‘What am I allowed to do?’ (pg. 8)”. While the chapter in which this question is found discusses the ways in which immigrant women cultivate their identity through their privileges - or lack there of - in society, this question can be applied to a multitude of minoritized groups and used to analyze the impact unequal power representations have on the creation of one’s own identity. In recent years, increased attention has been drawn to the LGBTQA+ community, specifically to those who identify outside of the socially constructed gender binary, and prefer the use of pronouns outside of those attributed to their perceived gender performance.This issue has garnered considerable media attention, most recently in September when University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson released a video lecture in which he discussed his frustration with being asked to use alternative pronouns, such as they/them, by trans and gender-neutral students and staff members (Murphy, 2016). This has opened a series of dialogues and a media frenzy over how individuals choose to identify themselves and whether or not others have the right to refuse those identities and the means through which they are constructed. If both language and gender are socially constructed notions (Mooney & Evans, 2011), then anyone should have the right to utilize either to their
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