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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 22, 2001
Latest update: March 22, 2001

Discussion Questions on Constitutive Criminology

On Thursday, March 23, 2001, Robert Binton wrote:


I read Lisa Sanchez's chapter in Constitutive Criminology today on Women in the Evergreen Sex Trade and I am a bit confused on a few of her concepts. I was hoping you could let me know if I am interpretting them correctly. On page 44, the third paragraph, she introduces the "prediscursive-I" as a subject who acts before or outside of her constitution in discourse. In reference to the "acting before constitution in discourse" is she saying that one can exercise agency in an arena even before one comprehends one's association with, or placement within, that arena? As when, psychologically speaking, when one acts unconciously and only later consciously realizes their prior actions? Is this ultimately what Butler, also quoted in the same paragraph, means when she states that, "there need not be a doer behind the deed...the 'doer' is variably constructed in and through the deed"?

Also, does the concept of constitutive theory in this chapter mean understanding the subject through comprehension of the interplay of contextualization and intersubjectivity?

Thank you for all of your help!
Robert Binford

On Thursday, March 22, 2001, jeanne responded:

Robert, I am so impressed with your questioning, I wish I could just answer you off the top of my head. But I have been thoroughly immersed in putting up postcolonial theory and narrative this week. I have just a few minutes before rushing off to school this morning. I don't even know where my copy of Henry and Milovanovic is---somewhere in this pile of books to my left. I won't get home until late tonight, but I'll try to look up Lisa Sanchez' chapter tomorrow and see if I can help with your interpretation. Meanwhile, some of our other students may have a clue, and I'll write to Stuart Henry and see if he'll help us. Keep asking questions! I'll try to catch up.

love and peace, jeanne