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Social Identity

Lecture Outline: 

Discovering Racial and Gendered Identity

Civil Rights and post-WWII feminism as examples


many identity-based movements grow out of the racial model

follow similar trajectories:

shared perception of discrimination


affirmative identification with and pride in group's heritage

usually triggers a reaction in other groups, who then recover their heritage.

Black Power emreges in mid-sixties

reject assimilation model

embrace racial identity

Stokely Carmichael popularizes the phrase, 1966

Rodgers essentialist interpretations of race

Black history and Black pride are the key to popularizing black consciousness

invert the way race had been used:  now source of pride not stigma

Roots (late seventies)


African American centers

African american history

Heightened identity consciousness leads to compensatory demands

view of affirmative action is probably informed by view of history

is it entangled in current race relations?

or not?

flip side of those who aregue for weight of history are those who insist on the autonomy of the individual

Current state of racial solidarity may ultimately determine debate on affirmative action


one catalyst for women's movement is civil rights movement

women's movement translates personal into political

uses the technique of consciousness raising groups

problems that seem personal are really the product of power relations

Sharing experiences reveals power differntials and creates common bonds as women

Rodgers juxtaposes SOCIAL history -- a history of social connectedness, to notion that we are not bound by such social ties, and operate autonomously through a series of market transactions


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