Identities and Politics

  title={Identities and Politics},
  author={Mary Bernstein},
  journal={Social Science History},
  pages={531 - 581}
Critics of identity politics often wax polemically as they charge contemporary social movements with narrowly and naively engaging in essentialist politics based on perceived differences from the majority. Such essentialism, critics charge, inhibits coalition building (e.g., Phelan 1993; Kimmel 1993), cannot produce meaningful social change, and reinforces hegemonic and restrictive social categories (Seidman 1997). It is even responsible for the decline of the Left (Gitlin 1994, 1995). Social… 

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