Politics of Identity Exploring the relevance and salience of identity as a political concept within contemporary American politics
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Original versionDrabløs, P. (2020) . Politics of Identity Exploring the relevance and salience of identity as a political concept within contemporary American politics (Master´s thesis). University of Agder, Kristiansand
This thesis examines how politics became identity and how politicized identities are shaping contemporary American politics. Identity as a political concept in the Western sphere evolved by virtue of our human thymotic desire to be recognized and dignified by other people. Identity as a political phenomenon rests on the belief of individuals and their surrounding society that there exists a true inner self in all of us that is both entitled to and worthy of recognition and dignity. The struggle to have that true inner self recognized was inaugurated by Martin Luther’s reconnaissance of the inner chambers of the self and moved to the social and political sphere through the works of among others. Rousseau, Kant and Hegel. Identity politics is the collectivized and organized endeavor of groups, bound together by their social identity. It is a political strategy that aims to improve and widen the circle of groups enjoying social justice. However, identity politics’ contemporary characteristics are negating its initial aims by demanding recognition and dignity based on restrictive and ascriptive traits. This thesis aims to converge Social Identity Theory, Intergroup Emotion Theory,and Moral Foundation Theory to examine how and why the politics of identity is such a salient concept in contemporary American politics. This will build a structural framework were the relevance of the politics of identity will be discussed in relation to contemporary American politics and the political rise of Donald Trump.
Master´s thesis in English (EN501).