With this statement I hereby reinstate the definition of "Performative" as the opposite of "Constative."

Well that, the above, is how the word "performative" used to be used, pointing to a particular power of language, as in, "With these words I do thee wed." Now it has rather confusingly been hijacked by social theorists and theatre "practitioners" who have suddenly realized that there is in fact an audience out there!

Sad indeed is the way post-modern relativism applies the term "performative" to qualify identity. If you allow your experience of me to be no more than my performance of myself, then perform I will, and there will be consequences. I will take control of my identity by manipulating my image - a phenomenon in which "self-makerism" is "acted out" on Social Media, tattoo parlours and liposuction clinics.

See also Actative.

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Jonathan Paul Cook © 2010