Claiming Identity, Delineating Category

Understanding Narratives of Religioning and Kink

  • Alison Robertson The Open University


Identity is an important focus for discourse in the contemporary world, used as an indicator of elements that are felt by an individual to be an important part of how they see and understand themselves. Self-identification commonly employs terms that can also be used to signify an analytic category, and the understanding that underlies these different uses is often neither wholly shared nor entirely distinct. Recognition of different use is thus potentially significant in research related to the groups, behaviours or concepts signified by such terms. This paper utilises concepts of religion(ing) and kink - both terms which can be, and are, used as claimed identities and as analytic categories - to reflect upon the porosity of such concepts when they are deployed in individual and academic narratives. Qualitative research into kink (understood as a marker of identity) is used to explore how personalised practices contribute to religioning processes (understood as a category label). This offers opportunities to consider how personalised practices contribute to the religioning processes of world- and/or meaning- and/or story-making, and also demonstrates the porosity of concepts like kink and non-kink, religious and non-religious, as they are constructed, maintained and/or disrupted within individual and academic narratives.

How to Cite
ROBERTSON, Alison. Claiming Identity, Delineating Category. Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religion (JBASR), [S.l.], v. 20, p. 100-117, sep. 2018. ISSN 2516-6379. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 june 2024. doi: