“This Is My Mother’s Land!”: An Indigenous Woman Speaks Out

  • Siu-Keung Cheung


The politics of recognition by definition urges us to see and respect a clear difference among social groups in terms of their identity and that of the culture at large. Charles Taylor is, therefore, correct to claim that the politics of recognition is dialogical and, by implication, totally relational in character (1992). The presence of asymmetric power relationships frequently spoils this dialogical progress, however, and leads to stereotyping of minorities. No culture is single, pure, or monolithic; the same goes for the individual experience that develops from it (Said, 1994; Rex, 1992). All cultures involve encounter and ongoing negotiations of identity. Heterogeneity of historical experience exists accumulatively and indeterminately. But the politics of recognition, along with those with the power to offer recognition, frequently gloss over the diversity of people in their actual setting and flatten the ever-present complexities of the social group, culture, and identity purportedly recognized (Dyson, 1994; Stiehm, 1994). This phenomenological circumstance of culture is incompatible with the politics of recognition that must fix an identity as static and unitary if it is to be a discernible thing for recognition.


British Colonial Indigenous Woman Village Leader Chinese Tradition Legislative Council 
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© Siu-Keung Cheung, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, and Lida V. Nedilsky 2009

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  • Siu-Keung Cheung

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