Consuming Marginality: Archaeologies of Identity and Post-Segregation Authenticity

Author(s): Paul Mullins

Year: 2014


A distinctive feature of contemporary life is that most people seem to perceive themselves in the midst of an antagonistic world that denies their identities: that is, nearly everybody feels marginalized. This sense of broad marginality profoundly shapes archaeologies of identity, particularly along and across color lines. The paper examines African America as a powerful metaphor that can expose facile notions of marginality even as African America is persistently invoked as a symbol of authenticity. From the perspective of a 21st-century post-segregation world, everyday African-American consumption illuminates the quite radical implications of African-American materiality and the ways contemporary racial ambiguities have been foreshadowed in everyday consumption for more than a century.

Cite this Record

Consuming Marginality: Archaeologies of Identity and Post-Segregation Authenticity. Paul Mullins. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437124)

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-58,10