chapter  5
21 Pages

Chapetr 5 Race, Ethnicity and Nationality: Some Questions of Identity

The aim of this chapter is to suggest some possible ways in which feminist perspectives on identity can be developed to take account of the complexities of racial, ethnic and national divisions. It considers the kinds of approaches that have been adopted by social scientists and looks at the current use of the term in popular discourse.1 It makes no claim to be exhaustive in terms of the literature. This is not out of some sense of false modesty, nor is it simply that the literature which could be drawn on is voluminous. It reflects rather the current situation in which identity has become a recurring referent in popular media discourse. We are confronted daily with events which are interpreted, at least in part, as matters of identity. Is identity used when there is no understanding or no readily available explanation of events or of the actions of others? Is this more likely to be the case in times of rapid social change accompanied by widespread disruption?