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The 1990s: Cultural Recognition, Internet Utopias, and Postcolonial Identities

The 1990s: Cultural Recognition, Internet Utopias, and Postcolonial Identities

Chapter:
(p.67) 3 The 1990s: Cultural Recognition, Internet Utopias, and Postcolonial Identities
Source:
Who Owns Religion?
Author(s):
Laurie L. Patton
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226676036.003.0004

This chapter investigates the controversies in light of the multicultural politics of recognition that emerged so powerfully in the 1990s. It argues that most of the controversies took place in the larger American context in which the culture wars were heating up on both sides of American public life. Then, drawing on Kwame Anthony Appiah's Ethics of Identity and other writings, the chapter emphasizes that Appiah's three categories of multicultural recognition: respect, life-script, and membership within a community, are key drivers of the dynamics of the scandalous episodes. It also claims, with James Beckford, that religion is best understood in the controversies as a “cultural resource” to be mobilized, rather than a transcendent or private personal refuge. The controversial cases show that religious identity is also an inherently multiple and intersectional one.

Keywords:   multicultural politics, religious identity, Kwame Anthony Appiah, James Beckford, religion, respect, life-script, community

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