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)


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.


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


  1. Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalisms. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Badiou, A. (2011). The rational Kernel of the Hegelian dialectic (T. Tzuchien, Ed. & Trans.). Melbourne: Scholar
  3. Barbosa, A. M. (1993). From Gauguin to Latin America: Where are we? Session 1. In Official program of the international society for education through art, 28th World Congress, Montréal.Google Scholar
  4. Bergson, H. (1946). The creative mind: An introduction to metaphysics (M. L. Andison, Trans.). New York: Wisdom Library.Google Scholar
  5. Bourriaud, N. (2009). The radicant. New York: Lukas & Sternberg Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brooks, P. (1993). Gauguin’s Tahitian bodies. In P. Brook (Ed.), Body work: Objects of desire in modern narrative (pp. 162–198). Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Buckley, B. L. (2012, for review). The continuity debate: Dedekind, Cantor, du Bois-Reymond, and Peirce on continuity and infinitesimals. Boston: Docent Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dass, A. (2018, April). A color wheel of humanity. National Geographic: The Racial Issue, 233(4).Google Scholar
  9. Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations, 1972-1990 (Martin Joughin, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Deleuze, G. (1990). Logic of sense (M. Lester, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and repetition (P. Patton, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Deleuze, G. (2002). The fold: Leibnitz and the Baroque (T. Conley, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  13. Deleuze, G. (2004). Bergson’s conception of difference. In G. Deleuze (Ed.), Desert Islands and other texts, 1953–1974 (D. Lapoujade, Ed. & M. Taormina, Trans.) (pp. 32–51). Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).Google Scholar
  14. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1986). Kafka: Toward minor literature (D. Polan, Trans.). Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  15. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). Thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). London/Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  16. Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (1987). Dialogues (H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Docherty, T. (1993). Postmodernism: An introduction. In T. Docherty (Ed.), Postmodernism: A reader (pp. 1–32). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks (C. L. Markmann, Trans.). New York: Grove Weidenfeld.Google Scholar
  19. Foster, H. (1993). ‘Primitive’ scenes. Critical Inquiry, 20(Autumn), 69–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Foucault, M. (1977). What is an author? (D. F. Bouchard & S. Simon, Trans.). In D. F. Bouchard (Ed.), Michel Foucault, language, counter-memory, practice (pp. 113–138). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. González, R. J. (2017). Hacking the citizenry?: Personality profiling, ‘big data’ and the election of Donald Trump. Anthropology Today, 33(3), 9–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guattari, F. (2000). The three ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). London/New Brunswick: The Athlone Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hall, S. (1996). Cultural identity and diaspora. In P. Mongia (Ed.), Contemporary postcolonial theory: A reader (pp. 110–121). London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  24. Hazy, J. K., & Boyatzis, R. E. (2015). Emotional contagion and proto-organizing in human interaction dynamics. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 806. Available at: Scholar
  25. Hegel. (1998). Hegel’s logic of science (A. V. Miller, Trans.). Amherst: Humanity Books.Google Scholar
  26. Henriques, J., & Molrely, D. (2017). Stuart Hall: Conversations, projects and legacies. London: Goldsmiths University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, A. (2012). Seeing differently: A history and theory of identification and the visual arts. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Laerke, M. (2010). Four things Deleuze learned from Leibniz. In Sjoerd van Tuinen & N. McDonnel (Eds.), Deleuze and the Fold: A critical reader (pp. 25–45). London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laerke, M. (2015). Five figures of folding: Deleuze on Leibniz’s monadological metaphysics. British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 23(6), 1192–1213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Levan, M. (2007). Aesthetics of encounter: Variations on translation in Deleuze. International Journal of Translation, 19(2), 51–66.Google Scholar
  31. Levinas, E. (1969). Totality and infinity: An essay on exteriority (A. Lingis, Trans.). Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Nead, L. (1992). The female nude: Art, obscenity and sexuality. London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nochlin, L. (1988). Women, art, and power and other essay. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Pollock, G. (1992). Painting, feminism, history. In M. Barrett & A. Philips (Eds.), Destabilizing theory: Contemporary feminist debates (pp. 138–176). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  35. Prat, M. L. (1992). Imperial eyes: Travel writing and transculturation. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Roosens, E. (1989). Creating ethnicity: The process of ethnogenesis. Newbury Park: SAGE.Google Scholar
  37. Segalen, V. (2002). Essay on exoticism: An aesthetic of diversity (Y. R. Schuck, Trans. & Ed.). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Solomon-Godeau, A. (1989). Going native. Art in America, 77(7), 118–129.Google Scholar
  39. Spivak, G. C. (1988). Can the subaltern speak? In C. Nelson & L. Grossberg (Eds.), Marxism and the interpretation of culture (pp. 271–313). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. St.-Simon, H. d. (1975). The artist, the scientist and the industrialist. In Selected writings on science, industry and social organization (K. Taylor, Trans.). London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  41. Tickner, L. (1992). Men’s work? Masculinity and modernism. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 4(3), 1–37.Google Scholar
  42. Viveiros De Castro, E. (1998). Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian perspectivism. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 4(3), 469–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Williams, R. (1977). Structures of feeling. In R. Williams (Ed.), The long revolution (pp. 128–135). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Žižek, S. (2013). Less than nothing: Hegel and the shadow of dialectical materialism. London: Verso.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations