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.
"This book provides a concise set of perspectives on the status of the politics of identity in contemporary theoretical sociology." Book Review Digest, New York
1. Social Theory and the Politics of Identity: Craig Calhoun
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
2. Reclaiming the Epistemological 'Other': Narrative and the
Social Constitution of Identity: Margaret R. Somers and Gloria D.
Gibson (University of Michigan).
3. Dark Thoughts about the Self: Charles Lemert (Wesleyan
4. The Politics of Identity in American History: Norbert Wiley
(University of Illinois).
5. From Universality to Difference: Notes on the Fragmentation
of the Idea of the Left: Todd Gitlin (University of California,
6. The Formation of We-Images: A Process Theory: Stephen Mennell
(University College, Dublin).
7. Identity Theory, Identity Politics: Psychoanalysis, Marxism,
Post-Structuralism: Eli Zaretsky (Newberry Library, Chicago).
8. Malcolm X and the Black Public Sphere: Conversionists vs.
Culturalists: Manthia Diawara (New York University).
9. Redrawing the Urban Color Line: The State and Fate of the
Ghetto in PostFordist America: Loic Wacquant (Russell Sage
10. Emotions and Identity: A Theory of Ethnic Nationalism:
Thomas Scheff (University of California, Santa Barbara).
11. Nationalism and Civil Society: Democracy, Diversity and
Self-Determination: Craig Calhoun (University of North Carolina at