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An Ethics of BetrayalThe Politics of Otherness in Emergent U.S. Literatures and Culture$
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Crystal Parikh

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230426

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230426.001.0001

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1. Introduction: An Ethics of Betrayal

1. Introduction: An Ethics of Betrayal

(p.1) 1. Introduction: An Ethics of Betrayal
An Ethics of Betrayal

Crystal Parikh

Fordham University Press

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

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