The Institutional as Usual: Sexism, Racism and the Politics of Complaint
This lecture explores how institutions are built from small acts of use. Once we are attuned to an environment, we know what usually happens. This lecture explores how sexism and racism become usual, with specific reference to uses of banter; ways of using words that point to how spaces become occupied. What happens when you challenge the use of banter as an abuse of power? What follows such challenges teaches us about power; the more you try to transform institutions the more you come up against them. This lecture brings together my current research into the “uses of use” with some early findings from my project on feminist complaint. I consider how social justice projects require making usage into a crisis.