Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Identity politics—sometimes referred to as the politics of recognition—represents both a practical politics and an analytical tool. As a practical politics, identity politics is associated with the emergence of the varied self-conscious counter-hegemonic social movements arising since the 1960s in particular—for example, the women's movement, and the Black Civil Rights Movement. Thus, it can be understood to refer to interactions in which individuals relate to others with reference to the group membership of the actors concerned. As an analytical tool or theoretical construct, identity politics is intended to provide a framework for critical analyses that foreground the histories and patterns of oppression experienced by minority groups. Hence, the experiential and theoretical become linked: Activism oriented around recognition and valuation of long stigmatized and disadvantaged collectives both inform and are informed by a concomitant discourse on injustice. In both respects, the notion of identity politics has also become a particularly volatile ...