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Neo-PassingPerforming Identity after Jim Crow$
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Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041587

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041587.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Passing at the Intersections

Passing at the Intersections

(p.135) Introduction Passing at the Intersections

Marcia Alesan Dawkins

University of Illinois Press

This essay contextualizes and introduces the chapters that follow in part 2 by defining and describing four critical lessons to be learned from historical acts of passing. It discusses these lessons—about privacy, assimilation, satire, and surveillance, or PASS—and explores how these lessons continue to shape and be shaped by the new identities, media, and technologies of our present historical moment. It is argued that the hallmark of (neo-)passing is an “edited self” that is a carefully crafted, presented, and preserved profile unit to be promoted in exchange for recognized social status, where the appearance of the commodity (i.e., race, class, gender, ability, religion, etc.) becomes the measure of its social value.

Keywords:   passing, privacy, assimilation, satire, surveillance, intersectionality

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