Social Theory and the Politics of Identity

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9781557864734: Social Theory and the Politics of Identity
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New social movements of the post-war era have brought to prominence the idea that identity can be a crucial focus for political struggle. Linked to an increasing recognition that social theory itself must put the politics of identity on center stage, this volume impels social theorists not only to make sense of the "world out there", but also to make sense of differences within the discourse of theory.

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The new social movements of the postwar era have brought to prominence the idea that identity can be a crucial focus for political struggle. The civil rights movement, anti-colonial movements in the Third World, the women's movement, the gay movement - all have sought the affirmation of excluded identities as publicly good and politically salient. Similar issues have long informed nationalist struggles.

The rise of identity politics is also linked to an increasing recognition that social theory itself must be a discourse with many voices. An increasingly transnational sphere of public and academic discourse - and increasing roles for women, gay men and lesbians, people of color, and various previously excluded groups - impels all social theorists not only to make sense of differences in society, but to make sense of differences within the discourse of theory.

This collective volume is the product of that conviction.

About the Author:

Craig Calhoun is Professor of Sociology and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the editor of Habermas and the Public Sphere (1992) and the author of Critical Social Theory, published by Blackwell in 1994.

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