Sixth note

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Published on 20 May 2011
of 3
The Politics of Identity and Difference
I. Politics of recognition and resources
II. The cherokee nation (Dawes rolls)
III. Conclusions
What is at stake if we imagine the world like we do?
Recognizing the category itself and making them reasonable
Politics and resource allocation
Identities are not just ways of thinking about the world, but they are ways to gain
access material resources in the world
Who gets what for being a member or not being a member of any particular category
There are many things at stake for creating these categories
Who has the power and authority to define particular social categories and give them
Which of the definitions become ones that people believe?
Who decides what resources are given to whom? Who defines the rights and needs of
particular social categories? (poor, what do they need to be given?)
Consequences present...
Individual identities - there are many assets to who we are as a self, multiple
A subject is fractured, that a person cannot be defined as a single identity
Multiple identities change - do not change or remain constant
We don't choose our own personalities
Cherokee example - nothing within the person that says that they are cherokee, it is
the government
They are just different from the other group who isn't Cherokee
Isn't just toying with the boundaries - if there is a huge cherokee nation, they have
access to a lot of resources
Context specific - changes all the time
Social imagination - creating categories around the world, differentiating us from other
You can have many different identities - in terms of anthropology
Imaginings - real politics at stake - they matter a lot
Resources have to be doled out based on the categories
Political and social consequences for thinking the way we do
Not natural - I got it alreadyyyyyyyyyyyy AHH.
Culture insists on a whole bunch of natural things
Started with... what is human?
Nature vs nurture
Popular misunderstandings
Debate is dead - gave up
Absurd question - got ignored