In his lecture ‘Making Up People’, Ian Hacking (1999) notes how the categories that classify kinds of people regularly change. New categories are invented through various administrative and institutional means of sorting and classifying. At the same time, people voluntarily place themselves into these categories, embracing kinds of behaviours and tasks that fit with institutional labels. But institutions do not completely determine the possibilities for human being. People act according to their classification, Hacking argues, because the language for
describing kinds of people and the material existence of these kinds of peopletheir behaviours and their bodies’ capacities to act-emerge at around the same time: ‘numerous kinds of human beings and human acts come into being hand in hand with our invention of the categories labeling them’ (p. 170).