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geographies of identity


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The study of identities and space: ‘we are in the midst of a redefinition of space. In the very moment that national and ethnic boundaries are breaking down we encounter paradoxical reinvestments in homeland, territorial integrity, localism, regionalism, and race- and ethnocentrism’ (P. Yaeger1996). Thus, much of the work revolves around the relationship between cosmopolitanism and transnationalism, with an emphasis on migratory movements and the formation of new kinds of transnational social spaces, identities, and relations. ‘Consciousness is always in motion and forms of identity such as a subaltern cosmopolitanism reflect particular relationships in particular times and places. Groups and individuals perform their own sense of cosmopolitanism dependent on context—their own particular locations in various axes of power as well as the broader structuring forces of global capitalism and geopolitics’ (Cheah in P. Cheah and B. Robbins, eds 1998). For many, forms of citizenship are ‘flexible, multicultural and polycultural, and dissenting’ (Mitchell (2007) PHG 31, 5).

‘Self-perceived liberals often position themselves as fatigued defenders of an identity politics and a form of multiculturalism that has now gone too far. Identity politics is projected (on the left) as either undermining efforts for redistribution or impeding the struggle against a neolib’ (Mitchell (2004) PHG 28, 5); see S. Huntington (2004).


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