ayjay + identity   4

Amartya Sen on 'Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny'
Any classification according to a singular identity polarizes people in a particular way, but if we take note of the fact that we havc many different identities - related not just to religion but also to language, occupation and business, politics, class and poverty, and many others - we can see that the polarization of one can be resisted by a fuller picture. So knowledge and understanding are extremely important to fight against singular polarization.

I remember being struck as a child in undivided India during the Hindu-Muslim riots of the 1940s (which I witnessed in Bengal) that the victims very often shared a class identity - the killed people were typically the Muslim poor and the Hindu poor. They also shared a non-religious cultural identity - particularly the Bengali language. Not surprisingly, therefore, as language and culture became more important in Bagladesh (its separation from Pakistan was not linked with religion but with language, literature and politics) and as the Indian part of Bengal pursued politics in which class and poverty became the dominant concerns, the Hindu-Muslim divide became far less sharp (there has been no recurrence of such violence in either part of Bengal over the last half a century). Similarly, a shared business concern does a lot to reduce the force of religion-based divisions in, say, Singapore or Malaysia, despite fomentation by religious ideologues.
politics  culture  identity 
march 2018 by ayjay
The Primal Scream of Identity Politics | The Weekly Standard
Yes, conservatives have missed something major about identity politics: its authenticity. But the liberal-progressive side has missed something bigger. Identity politics is not so much politics as a primal scream. It’s the result of what might be called the Great Scattering—the Western world’s unprecedented familial dispersion.

Anyone who’s ever heard a coyote in the desert, separated at night from the pack, knows the sound. Maybe the otherwise-unexplained hysteria of today’s identity politics is just that: the collective human howl of our time, sent up by inescapably communal creatures who can no longer identify their own.
politics  identity 
october 2017 by ayjay
The End of Identity Liberalism
But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.) [...]

The media’s newfound, almost anthropological, interest in the angry white male reveals as much about the state of our liberalism as it does about this much maligned, and previously ignored, figure. A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.
politics  identity  from instapaper
february 2017 by ayjay
Tomorrow’s Headlines - Dale Kuehne
Yesterday’s discussions were about sexual morality and marriage. Tomorrow’s discussions are about human identity and purpose. If anyone wishes to revisit yesterday’s discussions, the road goes through tomorrow’s discussions on identity.

So let’s begin. I believe the prevailing cultural notion of identity, as something each of us can only discover by looking within ourselves is logically flawed. I do not believe it is possible for any of us to understand who we are merely by looking within because none of us can know who we are without a reference point outside of ourselves. The question we face concerns not whether we require reference points outside of ourselves, but which ones. Teaching needs to include the examination of external reference points to help people avoid getting lost in the abyss of the self.

If I am right, then our regime is wrong. If the regime is wrong then the consequences for ourselves, our children and coming generations is enormous. If the regime is wrong then we are embarking on a course that is destined to fail by teaching something about identity we know not to be true: that the only way we can figure out who we are is to look exclusively within.
identity  self  Christianity  ethics 
may 2016 by ayjay

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