There is no identity: discerning the indiscernible

Wright, D. (2016) There is no identity: discerning the indiscernible. In: Pierce, E., Russell, A., Maldonado, A. and Campbell, L. (eds.) Creating Material Worlds: The Uses of identity in Archaeology. Oxbow: Oxford, pp. 175-195. ISBN 9781785701801

118737.pdf - Published Version


Publisher's URL:


This paper is cast as a journey in abstract in the construction of a theoretical bricolage of symmetrical and interpretive approaches to offer an understanding of what the lithic assemblages of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of West Central Scotland can tell us about identity and group identities. A central tenet of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (2004) [1968] is the notion that there is no identity. However, psychology considers group identity to be the normative ties that bind people. Anthropology takes these normative ties further and asks us to consider the agency of the objectification of practice within a performance setting, which is recast in terms of symmetrical approaches. A continuity of technological practice, as ‘a way of being,’ exists across the greater part of the longue durée of the Mesolithic period in Scotland. The continuity of technological practice may be said to mask identity and blur distinctions between different groups of hunter-gatherers. However, the chaîne opératoire makes it possible to identify aspects of the identity of a person from the detailed analysis of the technological attributes of lithic artefacts. Group identities may be distinguished by the recognition of the variations in the choices made in the procurement of raw materials by different hunter-gatherer groups.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Mesolithic, Deleuze, difference, becoming different, being Mesolithic, technology, symmetry, supervenience, identity, group identities
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wright, Dr Dene
Authors: Wright, D.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record