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This paper aims to explicate the latent functionalist logic that underpins much of cultural theorising on subjectivity. I argue that, like functionalism, post-structuralist or postmodernist formulations have made identification a systems problem.

Furthermore, in both models the social order is made structurally over-determined. The central point of the argument is the parallel function of interpellation and internalisation: both seek to explain how the system requirements are determinant of the actor’s motivated actions. Therefore, both models end up with a weak version of action. I argue that subject position and social perform the same explanatory function and therefore both models fail to address a) how multiple positionings are lived and b) how actions that that fall out outside of the system requirements of order can be accounted for.