Institute for Social Justice

Alumni

Mirjam van der Heide

Mirjam van der Heide


In my thesis, Dignity as a Performative Concept, I looked at the way that dignity is used in political protest, and how this can inform and enrich the way it is theorised. In the literature, dignity is conceptualised as an inherent value (a status concept). I argued that instead we should see as something that is embodied, and constructed in our interactions with each other (a performative concept). The performative concept is better able to capture the way that dignity is used in a political context. It shows that dignity is not simply a status that needs to be recognised, but that is something that needs to be performed in social interactions.

In general, I am interested in working on theoretical political problems with a clear link to contemporary political realities. I am particularly interested in questions around inclusion and exclusion. Other topics that are or have been important in my work are: injustice, suffering and trauma; resistance, protest; marginalisation and (social) invisibility; receptivity