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Rosenthal provides a critical history and analysis of the connections between mainstream and experimental theatre in New York, from the 1960s to 2020, with a focus on Broadway. She argues that Broadway and mainstream theatre underwent multiple and significant transformations during the 1960s and in the decades that followed. Rosenthal analyzes the work of playwrights, directors, composers, choreographers, and designers who made art both downtown in experimental theatres and uptown on Broadway. The concept of the “mainstream experimental” is used as a descriptor for Broadway throughout the following half century, as commercial theatre continued to push and shape US society and culture at large. Alongside artists, pathbreaking producers off and on Broadway are the focus of this chapter, along with the prominence of ensemble-based musicals and dramatic works and the success of solo performances on Broadway. The contributions and legacies of LGBTQ artists such as Tony Kushner, Larry Kramer, and Lisa Kron, and Black artists including August Wilson, George C. Wolfe, Ntozake Shange, Anna Deavere Smith, and Jeremy O. Harris, are central to Rosenthal’s argument and critique.
Illiberal democracy is a special constitutional arrangement: it is a plebiscitarian democracy unfolding the totalitarian potential within a democratic system. As a centralized power, it intends to perpetuate the rulers’ monopoly over the state, relying on the falsification of classical (liberal) constitutionalism. These features offer sufficient family resemblance to treat them together for the purposes of constitutional theory. Illiberal democracy takes an instrumental attitude to constitutional institutions. Amendments to the constitution take place according to the momentary interests of the political power, like in any democracy without extremely cumbersome amendment rules. The ultimate attachment to the spirit of the constitution, the idea of respecting an unamendable core, is missing. There is no commitment to underlying principles; appearances matter, not authenticity. Hence the inevitable duplicity and deceit in the constitutional and legal system of illiberal democracy. The constitution is not an entrenched, higher order law but a practical tool to solve emerging conflicts in an illiberal and nondemocratic way (imposing arbitrary will as supreme command).
While the term “bohemian” has fallen out of favor, the desire to explore alternative lifestyles that challenge mainstream social expectations remains. Focusing mainly on the Beat Generation writers but including a broad range of other bohemian groups both past and present, this chapter explores the reasons for bohemia’s demise, makes an honest assessment of its shortcomings, and attempts to redeem what is worthwhile from the concept. Despite its paradoxes and problems, there are good reasons to retain a bohemian ideal that brings the contradictions in everyday life into sharper focus, even if the future of bohemia might not be urban. At its best, the bohemian desire to live a fuller life outside society’s margins functions as a utopian gesture that challenges our media-obsessed culture with a focus on the personal and inner-directed. In such a world, bohemia is as difficult to enact as it is necessary for those who want to define life and its possibilities for themselves.
This chapter is not a thematic one, but a general review of the main findings from the different themes and an analysis of the suggested framing of “dignition,” which is a demand for dignity recognition. The chapter begins by showing the language dimension in articulating political demands to see how protesters may use a form of dignition at a particular time and for particular needs. The chapter presents the suggestion of dignition as one linked to dynamics of revolutionary change and populist demands. Then, the chapter looks at how discussions of identity in the Arab and Egyptian contexts have political drivers particularly in the processes of modernizing Arab states after the colonial period. This leads to emotional discussions of articulating the demand of dignity which reveals issues of identity for protesters. Lastly, the chapter exposes the dynamics of modernity and development in the context of accelerated globalization, which increase the precarity of dignity perceptions.
Elections are moments when political hierarchies and differences become more visible and more contestable. Chapter 8 examines how the people’s parliaments responded to the 2013 General Elections in Mombasa. It reveals how instrumental and personalised political campaigns had a tense but mutually constitutive relationship with everyday publics. The intrigues of electoral competition sparked interest in public discussion and made it seem relevant to people’s everyday lives, while at the same time sharpening the contours of debate. A key finding concerns the challenges that faced civil society campaigns in attempting to realise changed discourses. This chapter argues that peace narratives purported by civil society in 2013 struggled to shift deep-set shared imaginaries. Explicitly non-partisan civil society groups struggled to keep out partisan competition as it was a source of perceived individual agency in politics. Also, formal structures were easily instrumentalised by politicians within their campaigns.
In “Globalization, the Politics of Identity, and Social Hope,” Rorty presents a pair of claims: tinkering with the concepts of “identity” and “difference” cannot be made politically useful, but tinkering with the concepts of “rationality” and “truth” can be made politically useful. In this chapter, I use this pair of claims to explain Rorty’s reasons for thinking that leftist critics of his liberalism fail to recognize that they are themselves part of the liberal “we” to which he regularly refers. When Rorty claims that tinkering with rationality and truth can be made politically useful, he has in mind the anti-authoritarian idea that moving from philosophy to redescription makes room for social progress. When he claims that tinkering with “identity” and “difference” cannot be made politically useful, he is making two points: the politics of identity as a philosophical program is overly theoretical and overly pessimistic, but the politics of identity as a political project is nothing other than good old-fashioned liberalism. Together, these claims leave leftist philosophers and activists in a position where we cannot radically undermine liberalism, but where we can work to gradually reform it.
Examines the politics of identity, considers the competing policies of multiculturalism and pluralism and reflects on the relative effectiveness of these policies in practice. Deals with civil society and examines how its functioning and sustainability is affected by the church–state relationship. Studies the importance of human rights, giving particular attention to equality law, discusses implications for a democratic society. Examines threats to social stability, including reconciling sharia law with state law; religious manifestation by way of clothing, symbols and practices in public places, etc. It probes the significance of the Christian heritage and considers its effect on minority ethnic and cultural groups.
Wild Abandon’s introduction establishes the book’s methodology, introduces key terms (identity politics of ecology, ecological authenticity, and dissolution), and traces the origins of environmentalist identity politics to the American New Left. Movement radicals sought “natural” alternatives to the “artificial” postwar liberal order, often articulating this opposition in terms of repression and elevating self-liberation to the forefront of their program. However, ecology’s simultaneous political debut, and the field’s attention to the biophysical interrelationships that both constitute and undermine individuals, challenged selfhood’s apparent sanctity. For some radicals, ecology suggested that self-identity merely constitutes yet another repressive formation to discard. Because selfhood is socially constructed, the ecosystem as a whole comprises one’s most essential identity. This appeal to ecological rather than personal authenticity constitutes the identity politics of ecology, which is less a movement than a rhetorical tendency. Conversations between adherents to this perspective and a variety of other identity positions play out in literary texts from the 1960s to the present.
“The Universal Wilderness” argues that environmentalist appeals to self-dissolution constitute a uniquely universal form of identity politics. It does so by situating these appeals in the context of identity-based movements that flourished in the 1970s through a reading of Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977). The novel pointedly juxtaposes two characters: one who caricatures the era’s Black nationalism and another who identifies with the ecological intricacy of his environment. This arrangement effects a comparison between two accounts of authenticity: the racial and the ecological, the particular and the universal. Such a reading enables a reevaluation of certain facets of postwar environmentalism. Appeals to self-dissolution join the rhetoric of authenticity that characterized Black Power with the sort of political universalism that such movements called into question. However, though Morrison represents ecology as a universal condition, she also critiques the notion that it might constitute an identity position. That position might serve only to enshrine as universal the colonial attitudes of white men, erasing the perspectives of women and people of color.
Wild Abandon’s conclusion contends that an identity politics of ecology is not only impossible to sustain but also politically undesirable, given its erasure of difference and its implicit nihilism – its suggestion that individuals and communities do not matter in the grand scheme of ecological change. However, the question driving the identity politics of ecology – how does one reconcile self with system? – continues to govern contemporary scholarship as well as mainstream representations of wilderness. Specifically, questions regarding the subject’s role in vital networks, its material heft or ephemerality, and the ontological and epistemological forces that center and decenter it remain the focus of scholarship in new-materialist philosophy, queer ecology, and material ecocriticism. In the process, these paradigms participate in the same circuit of ideas that gave rise to the identity politics of ecology. Keeping this point in mind, this conclusion considers how current reading practices might help or hinder environmentalist goals, and recommends that environmentalist thinking eschew the notion of authenticity altogether, in favor of a pragmatic politics of consistency.
Suffering can make sacred, so it may partly be nature, and not culture alone, that leads us to apprehend a sacred aspect in victims of oppression. Those who recognize this sacredness show piety—a special form of respect—toward members of oppressed groups. The result is a system of social constructions often dismissed as “identity politics.” This essay starts with an analysis of the intentionality of piety and sacredness and how they relate to suffering, sacrifice, sanctions, pollution, and purification. It then argues that the sacralization of oppressed groups is an expression of the perennial human disposition to acknowledge sacredness and to respond piously. The essay then analyzes this sacred status as socially constructed. Based on the sacred-making (that is, “sacrificial”) power of suffering, the sacred status elicits piety, gives its bearers special authority, surrounds them with sanctions, and calls for symbolic sacrificial punishments of the impious. By dissecting sacrificial politics as a system of social constructions, we see that, although the oppressed groups are made sacred, certain people in the oppressor groups—“the Pious”—continue to exercise fundamental power. This essay, by displaying the inner logic of this cultural phenomenon, helps us both to sympathize with and to critique the system and then to pose questions about what good or bad the system might be doing.
Cet article propose de montrer la transformation de l'idée d'interculturalisme au Québec de sa genèse dans les groupes communautaires montréalais des années 1960 jusqu’à son intégration dans la politique des partis au début du XXIe siècle à l'Assemblée nationale du Québec. Cette sociologie historique insiste sur la course à relais entre divers acteurs qui sont entrés en concurrence afin d'en définir le sens et les principes. L'histoire de l'idée d'interculturalisme montre en relief quatre périodes distinctes : la genèse du vocabulaire de « l'interculturel » (1963–1977), sa diffusion hors des groupes communautaires (1978–1988), la transition sémantique vers « l'interculturalisme » (1988–2006) et la polarisation politique à son sujet alors que se lèvent au Québec les controverses identitaires (2007–2018).
This article leverages a phenomenon of racial reclassification in Brazil to shed new light on the processes of identity politicization. Conventional wisdom tells us that race mixture, fluid racial boundaries, and stigmatized blackness lead Brazilians to change their racial identifications—to reclassify—toward whiteness. But in recent years, Brazilians have demonstrated a newfound tendency to reclassify toward blackness. The author argues that this sudden reversal is the unintended consequence of state-led educational expansion for the lower classes. Educational expansion has increased the exposure of newly mobile citizens to information, social networks, and the labor market, leading many to develop racialized political identities and choose blackness. The author develops and tests this argument by drawing on in-depth interview data, systematic analyses of national survey and longitudinal census data, and original survey experiments. This article contributes a novel account of identity politicization and emphasizes the interaction between social structures and citizenship institutions in these processes.
The American wilderness narrative, which divides nature from culture, has remained remarkably persistent despite the rise of ecological science, which emphasizes interconnection between these spheres. Wild Abandon considers how ecology's interaction with radical politics of authenticity in the twentieth century has kept that narrative alive in altered form. As ecology gained political momentum in the 1960s and 1970s, many environmentalists combined it with ideas borrowed from psychoanalysis and a variety of identity-based social movements. The result was an identity politics of ecology that framed ecology itself as an authentic identity position repressed by cultural forms, including social differences and even selfhood. Through readings of texts by Edward Abbey, Simon Ortiz, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Jon Krakauer, among others, Alexander Menrisky argues that writers have both dramatized and critiqued this tendency, in the process undermining the concept of authenticity altogether and granting insight into alternative histories of identity and environment.
Tracing its roots back to Romanticism and invoking a counter-realism associated with postmodernism, North American magical realism invites a variety of communities to resist inequity and oppressive rhetoric and culture and to revise historical, social and religious traditions. Its canon includes North American writers as diverse as Toni Morrison; Latina authors Cristina García, Ana Castillo and Julia Alvarez; feminist magical realists Laurie Foos and Aimee Bender; Canadian writer Robert Kroetsch; and indigenous authors Louise Erdrich, Thomas King and James Welch. A new wave of writers drawing upon magical realism – including Kelly Link, David Levithan, Micah Dean Hicks, Anna-Marie McLemore and Leslye Walton, and often using young adult literature – continues to redefine 'American-ness'. Magical realism carves out space for developing better understandings of established and new (or newly acknowledged) communities, allowing mainstream and disenfranchised authors alike – bound by geography, race, gender or other collective categorizations of identity – entry into the main discourse.
Using Hungary as a case study and focusing on legislative policies and the practical application of hate crime legislation, this article shows the various ways legal policy can become misguided in the labyrinth of identity politics, minority protection, and penal populism. The first mistake states can make, the author argues, is not to adopt hate crime legislation. The second error arguably pertains to conceptualizing hate crimes as an identity protection but not a minority-protection mechanism and instrument. The third fallacy the author identifies concerns legislative and practical policies that conceptualize victims based on self-identification and not on the perpetrator’s (or the wider community’s) potential perception and classification. The fourth flaw concerns the abuse of the concept of hate crime when it is applied in interethnic conflicts wherein members of minority communities are perpetrators and the victims are members of the majority communities. The fifth is institutional discrimination through the systematic underpolicing of hate crimes.
In Chapter 2, we trace the demographic developments that have driven both the rise of new ‘identity liberal’ electorates and the decline of the formerly dominant ‘identity conservative’ group. Educational expansion has opened universities, formerly the preserve of a small elite, to the masses. Migration and rising ethnic diversity have dramatically increased Britain’s ethnic and cultural diversity. The combined effects have transformed the typical experience of a young person growing up in Britain. A typical citizen growing up in the 1950s had little prospect of attending university and had little or no contact with people with different ethnic or religious backgrounds. But her granddaughter growing up in the 2010s knows a society where ethnic and religious diversity are a part of everyday life for most young people, and university was an experience enjoyed by the majority of her peers. The generational structure of both these changes and hence of the identities and values associated with them, drives the third demographic trend: growing generational divides. Finally, we show how the geographical distribution of the different demographic groups adds to the electoral polarisation between identity conservatives and identity liberals, who not only think differently, but also increasingly live apart from each other.
Long-term social and demographic changes - and the conflicts they create - continue to transform British politics. In this accessible and authoritative book Sobolewska and Ford show how deep the roots of this polarisation and volatility run, drawing out decades of educational expansion and rising ethnic diversity as key drivers in the emergence of new divides within the British electorate over immigration, identity and diversity. They argue that choices made by political parties from the New Labour era onwards have mobilised these divisions into politics, first through conflicts over immigration, then through conflicts over the European Union, culminating in the 2016 EU referendum. Providing a comprehensive and far-reaching view of a country in turmoil, Brexitland explains how and why this happened, for students, researchers, and anyone who wants to better understand the remarkable political times in which we live.
Many of the conflicts that have led to the creation of hybrid tribunals were identity-based conflicts – people who identified as members of one tribe, race, ethnicity, or religion used these distinctions as grounds to attack and persecute another group who often responded in kind. This reality means that the criminal justice processes that take place in the wake of such conflicts must take issues of identity seriously to be effective. This article uses the notion of framing contests to examine different identity-based responses to international justice. Defenders of the tribunals seek to portray them as impartial observers while critics paint them as illegitimate outsiders. Because hybrid tribunals have identity considerations as features built into them, they are better suited to promote their own legitimacy in these framing contests. These features include the personnel they use, the witnesses they call, the strategies their prosecutors deploy, and their local outreach programmes. Each of these tools can be used to frame the tribunal as a legitimate means to promote criminal justice and thereby advance the values of transitional justice.
This book is aimed at a general audience. Its aim is to engage readers in thinking critically about the words in their world and about the linguistic practices in which they participate. Linguistic practices are ways of doing things with words, and they are tied to particular communities, some face-to-face and small (a classroom) and others vast and ‘imagined’ (a nation). The politicization of social identities has gone hand in hand with politicization of language, and this book tries to provide insight into those connections. Social power can confer linguistic privilege but the disempowered can find words enormously useful for resisting. It is hard to talk about contentious language without raising immediate emotional responses, visceral reactions to proposed reforms or resistance to them. The book aims not to promote particular ways of speaking but to get readers thinking about their own linguistic experiences in new ways.