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Explorations of Post-identity in Relation to Resistance

Why Difference Is Not Diversity
  • jan jagodzinskiEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

This chapter questions the broad understanding of “diversity as difference” in relation to one strand of cultural studies where issues of representation are constantly forwarded in what has become the political practice of identity politics: diversity within “democratic societies” ruled by representational politics. Here I am referring to the usual primary signifiers such as skin color, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, and so on that has grounded cultural studies in general. The result has been an unexpected “resistance” by populist movements to multiculturalism, supported by any number of authoritarian personalities around the world, from Trump in the United States to Erdoğan in Turkey, from Duterte in the Philippines to Orbán in Hungary, from Putin in Russia to Zuma in South Africa, and from Israel’s Netanyahu to China’s Xi Jinping – now installed as president for life. The globe is crisscrossed by these “authoritarian men.” And, the list seems to have proliferated to now include Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, and Michel Temer’s sweeping corruption of Brazil. Drawing on the nonrepresentational theories of Deleuze and Guattari where “difference” is process based, I dwell on the case of Paul Gauguin to confuse identity politics, not as hybridic hyphenated identities but by queering identity, a “post-identity” position which heads in the direction of a planetary consciousness that requires an understanding of difference as singularity and new political formations of the “common.” Otherwise, our future is closed.

Keywords

Identity politics Post-identity Diversity Difference Authoritarianism Deleuze Guattari Paul Gauguin 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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