Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription
Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription argues that groups have an irreducibly collective right to determine the meaning of their shared group identity, and that such a right is especially important for historically oppressed groups. It provides a novel approach to issues of identity politics, group rights, and racial identity, one which combines and develops the insights of contemporary critical theory and race theory, and will thus be of special interest to scholars in these fields.
- Paperback | 142 pages
- 152.4 x 223.52 x 15.24mm | 204.12g
- 05 Dec 2013
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
Table of contents
Introduction Chapter 1: Minority Cultures and Oppressed Groups: Competing Explanatory Frameworks Chapter 2: Collective Identity, Group Rights, and the Liberal Tradition of Law Chapter 3: Identity Politics Within the Limits of Deliberative Democracy Chapter 4: The Future of Racial Identity: A Test Case
Pierce's probing analysis of the limits and possibilities of current thinking about multiculturalism, race theory, and group rights is comprehensive, judicious, and thoroughly original. Elegantly written, it represents the first sustained application of critical theory and discourse theory to the most current analytic literature in the field, and the most exhaustive attempt hitherto undertaken to rethink a positive and legitimate conception of racial identity from that perspective. -- David Ingram, Loyola University, Chicago If mainstream liberal political philosophy now grudgingly recognizes cultural minorities as well as atomic individuals, it still balks at admitting the centrality of group oppression, and the corresponding ontology of subordinating and subordinated groups, to liberal polities. Racial oppression, for example, is displaced and obfuscated by a discourse of multiculturalism. In this brief but penetrating book, Andrew Pierce shows the theoretical inadequacy of multicultural liberalism for handling these issues. Instead he urges a redemptive reconstruction of identity politics within a modified Habermasian theory that excludes as illegitimate those racial identities predicated on the disrespect and exploitation of others. Synthesizing elements from the analytic and Continental political traditions, the result is a challenge to mainstream theory very much worth reading. -- Charles Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Northwestern University Pierce's approach is highly original, as far as I am aware. This book is worthy reading for anyone interested in issues of group rights, oppression, and identity politics. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews This first book by Pierce (Loyola Univ., Chicago) is a tremendous success. In four chapters, the author lays waste to the dogmatic rejection of identity politics and the current liberal account of oppressed groups in democratic societies. Chapter 1 is a critique of multicultural liberals, primarily Will Kymlicka's focus on group identity as cultural. Chapter 2 offers a fantastic discussion of why oppressed groups' self-ascription is intrinsically valuable. Chapter 3 provides a refreshing argument for the necessity of identity politics. By differentiating between 'retributive' and 'discursive-democratic' identity politics, Pierce carefully shows how identity politics is necessary to real challenges to systemic oppression. This position carries readers to the theme of the final chapter, namely, that 'the strategic struggle against oppression as well as the ideally functioning processes of democratic politics both presuppose and require certain kinds of collective identity ... and racial identity in specific.' This, however, does not let white conservatives off the hook, since 'whiteness is not discursively justifiable, illegitimate ... and lacks any substantive foundation.' This book will be a heartbreaking discovery for multicultural liberals, but a well-written contribution to conversations by audiences familiar with the contested debates of the field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. CHOICE
About Andrew J. Pierce
Andrew J. Pierce is lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.