ON DESIRE AS A FRAMEWORK
"As a theoretical concept, desire interrupts the binary of reproduction versus resistance. In social science, it is often believed that people are bound to reproduce or replicate social inequity or, on the flip side, that they can resist unequal social conditions. Critics on both sides accuse the other of oversimplifying, of underestimating the immense and totalizing power of systematic oppression on the one hand and the radical power of the human spirit and human agency on the other. It seems that the positions are irreconcilable.
Edward Soja (1996), deploying Henri Lefebvre's 1991 concept of the third-space, has described a process of thirding as a way to break the closed circuit of an irreconcilable binary: 'Critical thirding as othering is the first and most important step in transforming the categorical and closed logic either/or to the dialectically open one of both/and also...' (p. 60). Further, he characterizes the thirdspace as introducing 'a critical 'other than' choice that speaks and critiques through its otherness' (p. 61). Desire is a thirding of the dichotomized categories of reproduction and resistance. It is neither/both/and reproduction and resistance. This is important because it more closely matches the experience of people who, at different points in a single day, reproduce, resist, are complicit in, rage against, celebrate, throw up hands/fists/towels, and withdraw and participate in uneven social structures—that is, everybody. Desire fleshes out that which has been hidden or what happens behind our backs. Desire, because it is an assemblage of experiences, ideas, and ideologies, both subversive and dominant, necessarily complicates our understanding of human agency, complicity, and resistance."
— Eve Tuck, "Suspending Damage: A Letter to Communities"