Annotated Bibliography: Politics of Identity

Blog Article
Arora, N. (Jul 2015). “On the Politics of Identity.” Shunya. Retrieved from
Arora (2015) starts off by giving a practical definition of what identity politics is all about. He states that identity politics can be defined as the personal perspectives and self-image. It also involves the perspective that one has about another person and groups of people. This realization, the author argues, is generally developed within a group that shares a common identity such as race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliations, and professionalism. Arora (2015) also explains the nature of identity politics by highlighting that the politics of identity tend to advance certain elements of an identity group while at the same time suppressing another aspect of the group. For instance, the concept of Jihad in Islam has always been emphasized in the American society whereas Islam’s dogma of peace as a pillar of the religion has been always suppressed in order to create politically correct anecdotes to advance political agendas. Thus, this article is appropriate for understanding the intrigues of political identity in the 21st century and identity politics in general.

Journal Articles
Ford, R. T. (2015). Political Identity as Identity Politics. Unbound, 1, 53-57. Retrieved from
Ford (2015) deeply analyzes the concept of identity politics and how it is closely related to political identity. He gives an example of a Fourth of July orator who describes his personal feelings and position concerning his patriotism for his country and pride in the great history of the US. Ford (2015) refers to such an obsession by the orator as bullshit since the orator does not take the time to educate his or her audience on the actual history of the US. He also does not allow them to make a decision on their own. Ford (2015) insists that the orator is influenced by populist discourses of the time and is skewed towards being politically correct. In essence, Ford (2015) insinuates that it is the politics of the time that inherently shape the political identities of the time. Political identity, therefore, also conforms to the societal expectations of the society at large. Finally, Ford (2015) appears to be suggesting that the current societies are tuned to view identity politics in the negative. According to Ford (2015), there is usually nothing good to say about ideologies such as gender, race, sexual orientation, and sexism rather than oppression and marginalization, and therefore putting political identity in constant crisis. Considering that this is a peer-reviewed article, the ideas that have been highlighted add a lot of value to the discussion of identity politics.

Hernandez, P. & Minor, D. (2015). Political Identity and Trust. Harvard Business School. Retrieved from
This was an experimental survey that was performed using a sample of the US society. The researcher used specially modelled questions to assess the level of trust that Americans portray towards stereotyping and discrimination. The findings of the study illustrated that stereotyping played a crucial role in the trust levels that Americans presented towards various groups of people. Also, correcting previous stereotypes, whether they are accurate in depicting the concerned group, was a difficult task. In essence, this article established the vicious circle of identity politics. Although identity politics is at the core of developing a society’s norms and perceptions, it is also created by the society. As such, this vicious circle cannot be broken since any attempt to alter the existing political identity leads to development of new societal norms which in turn create new identities. This article therefore explains how identity politics is created and also measures the intimate relationship that exists between identity politics and trust.

Newspaper Articles
Gardels, N. (18 Sept 2018). “Francis Fukuyama: Identify politics is undermining democracy.” The Washington Post. Retrieved from post/wp/2018/09/18/identity-politics/? noredirect=on&utm_term=.87721d4953a4.
This article addresses fundamental issues concerning identity politics and how these identities affect empathy and communication. The article examines how the political identity discourse was started. The author suggests that the roots of identity politics were noble, with minority and marginalized groups coming together to fight for their rights, recognition, and equal treatment. However, there has been a paradigm shift in the society as a whole. This shift started in the 1970s. Presently, political identities are hinged on economic prosperity at the expense of personal freedoms and respect for dignity. This article, therefore, highlights the identity crises in the 21st century.

Malik, K. (21 Oct 2018). “White identity is meaningless. Real dignity is found in shared hopes.” The Guardian. Retrieved from /white-identity-is-meaningless-dignity-is-found-in-shared-hopes.
This article explores the issues raised in the book, “Whiteshift.” The author suggests that immigration into largely white societies across the globe has created a lot of tension between white ethno-traditionalism and the leftist movement that is anti-racism. This rift has led to resentment, especially among members of the white population towards immigrant and other races, a phenomenon that has been attributed to the threat of white status-quo. Furthermore, the author argues that whereas historically, dignity was engrained in class hierarchies, in the contemporary societies, dignity appears to have assumed an ethnic outlook. The results of this resentment is the social unrest currently being witnessed, particularly in societies in the West such as the US and the United Kingdom. Therefore, this article provides a realistic view of the identity politics that is manifesting itself in the world today.

TED Talk
Shafak, E. (2010). “The Politics of Fiction.”. Retrieved from elif_shafak_the_politics_of_fiction/transcript? language=en#t-1258798.
This is a speech by the talented France-born, Turkish novelist Elf Shafak. In the talk, Shafak (2010) explores the undermining role that identity politics is doing to the literary world particularly for the non-white authors who are expected to write in accordance to the established stereotypes. For instance, Shafak (2010) gives an example of her own experience where her work was judged harshly since it did not portray the unhappy and oppressed stereotype of Muslim women. In contrast to this kind of ideology, Shafak (2010) suggests that it is only the world of fiction that enables people to transcend their political identities, at least from a psychological point of view. She insists that although identity politics has built walls that separate people, the world of fiction provides a serene space that allows one to experience a world that is different from the one he or she has experienced in life. Shafak (2010) ends her talk by advising authors, especially of fiction, to rely more on what they feel while writing fiction rather than focusing on only who they are or what they know. This talk provides a real-life incident of identity politics at work.
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