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Geog 140 11-13-07

Geog 140 11-13-07 - Geography 140-13-07 Identity politics...

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Geography 140 Lecture 13 11-13-07 Identity politics or the politics of identity o Traditional politics = the pursuit of shared material interests o Politics of identity = struggles over the recognition and legitimacy of different social identities within the wider society. (marginalized groups- social identities that have been seen as oppressed or marginalized) o The modern age and difficulties individuals face with identity People face the difficulty of identifying who they are in relative isolation (spend more time alone on the internet, in our cars…) Social networks are diffuse (no longer live in villages, but know people through connections with family, friends… but are often weak) There is little cultural consensus about identities (you can be whatever you want to be now) Communication taking place over ever-widening distances ( in touch with more people and may sometimes be confusing) We struggle for stable identity in an unstable world (search for identity is a search for stability – but the world is unstable – a retreat from modernism) End of modernism’s “totalizing” narratives… everyone does not “know” their place but must “find/make” their place modernism – belief there is truth somewhere out there post modernism – no truth out there o The “identity question” now informs all politics to one degree or another How are identities formed/shared? o Shared symbols, myths and rituals are central to the process of forming identity Individuals come to see themselves as parts of larger collectives with common experiences and histories. Creating a “unified self” that is “self intelligible” o Identities are established through ‘stories,’ ‘story-telling,’ and ‘narratives’ Stories that people tell themselves and others about their experiences The continuing importance of place in shaping identity o People may attempt to establish identities that are non-place specific, but they usually happen within a geographical field (ex. the State) o People have multiple identities, one of which is usually associated with the people around them o Most people’s understandings about far-away events are filtered through the routines and experiences of everyday live (ex. here in the classroom) o
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