Situating Identity: An Anti-ideological Approach

Himani Bannerji


[This paper part of the pre-organized panel session (by Himani Bannerji, Parastou Saberi, and Gokboru Sarp Tanyildiz) on "Marxism: Whose Identity?" within the identity politics stream of the conference.]

This paper will examine different approaches to the question of identity in relation to the different kinds of politics that can result from using the concept in solely cultural/discursive as opposed to historical materialist terms. Revisiting some debates centered around the topic of duality of base and superstructure, their hierarchical representational and correspondentist articulations, the paper will offer to shift the discussion to one of making history, involving notions of social subjectivity and agency. We would explore, for example, the 'identity' expressed by the notion of the proletariat and that of 'authentic' religious and other cultural subjects.

Himani Bannerji
Senior Scholar and Professor Emeritus in Sociology, York University

Identity - ideology - marxism - culture