Agency, Identity, and Narrative: Making Sense of the Self in Same-Sex Divorce

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Abstract
I argue that same-sex divorce presents a different kind of potential constraint to the agency of persons pursuing the dissolution of their marriage; a constraint upon one’s counterstory and the reconstitution of one’s personal identity. The dialectic within the paper mirrors the movements that I have had to make as I have sought to constitute and reconstitute myself throughout my divorce process. Beginning from a juridical perspective, I examine how the constraints on same-sex divorce present constraints on one’s agency that are antithetical to the spirit of a liberal democratic conception of freedom of movement. I then explore the role of narrative in my self-(re)constitution, as well as the limits of the narrative and counterstories, when the institutional framework of the State fails to acknowledge the change in my State-sanctioned personal relationship. I end by arguing that this view from the law ignores the ways in which we relationally constitute ourselves, and in so doing covers over the harms done to persons that find themselves in a married-yet-not state of limbo.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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2013-07-17

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