THE POLITICAL IMPORTANCE OF AMBIVALENCE IN THE. SEXUAL POLITICS OF RACE AND ETHNICITY
The emphasis on cultural readings and the implication for the ‘polyvocal quality’ of texts is central for debates around both sexual and cultural representations and identities. Mercer (1992:23) claims that the struggle for identity and agency always ‘entails the negotiation of ambivalence’. Debates around the political importance of ambivalence have been particularly important in theories of sexual and cultural representation around race and ethnicity (Bhabha 1984, 1994; Mercer 1994) and post-colonialism. This last section of the chapter considers some of these debates, particularly as they have coalesced around the work of Robert Mapplethorpe. It also considers the framing of debates within feminism around the issue of pornography and the implications of debates around sexuality and identity for feminist theorising.