Monday, December 6, 2010


Jean Léone Gérôme, The Snake Charmer, 1870

The West considered themselves superior to those they conquered.  A power-relationship exists whereby the West is more powerful because they bought ideas and civilization to these less civilized and "barbaric" worlds.

Joan Scott's "Multiculturalism and The Politics of Identity" 
-  criticizes conservatism AND minority groups for essentializing themselves
-  the idea of a "true" inner self is problematic because in identifying a person with an individual self, it prevents the person from being anything else (essentializing)
-  discrimination against groups is a result of their difference (relative: white vs. black)
-  criticizes ideology of individualism.  Individualism stresses experience as the necessary prerequisite to criticism; therefore, a man cannot be a feminist, because he has not had the experience of being a woman.
-  the overprotection of identity is problematic because identity is always in flux.  Scott argues that identity must be out in the open and be susceptible to socio-cultural influences.
-  must always think collectively

Identity is fluid.

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