In Ann Chinnery, Nuraan Davids, Naomi Hodgson, Kai Horsthemke, Viktor Johansson, Dirk Willem Postma, Claudia W. Ruitenberg, Paul Smeyers, Christiane Thompson, Joris Vlieghe, Hanan Alexander, Joop Berding, Charles Bingham, Michael Bonnett, David Bridges, Malte Brinkmann, Brian A. Brown, Carsten Bünger, Nicholas C. Burbules, Rita Casale, M. Victoria Costa, Brian Coyne, Renato Huarte Cuéllar, Stefaan E. Cuypers, Johan Dahlbeck, Suzanne de Castell, Doret de Ruyter, Samantha Deane, Sarah J. DesRoches, Eduardo Duarte, Denise Egéa, Penny Enslin, Oren Ergas, Lynn Fendler, Sheron Fraser-Burgess, Norm Friesen, Amanda Fulford, Heather Greenhalgh-Spencer, Stefan Herbrechter, Chris Higgins, Pádraig Hogan, Katariina Holma, Liz Jackson, Ronald B. Jacobson, Jennifer Jenson, Kerstin Jergus, Clarence W. Joldersma, Mark E. Jonas, Zdenko Kodelja, Wendy Kohli, Anna Kouppanou, Heikki A. Kovalainen, Lesley Le Grange, David Lewin, Tyson E. Lewis, Gerard Lum, Niclas Månsson, Christopher Martin & Jan Masschelein (eds.), International Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Springer Verlag. pp. 851-865 (2018)

In contemporary society, identities—culture; race; ethnicity; gender; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender —are at the heart of discourses of belonging and related collectivist constructions of meaning. As distinct social markers, they clearly demarcate the society in ways that also have political implications. The discussion of identity politics below takes a nominally genealogical approach beginning with modern philosophy’s individualistic account. It then decenters this narrative and posits that the field has been ill-equipped to grapple with the power of identity as a source of belonging, a moral critique, and as a site of political conflict. Education is the primary context of the discussion, which is framed as the quest for cultural and social pluralism. Although the term identity has roots in Western philosophy and more recently in psychology, identity politics is a highly contested expression in education, political theory and in philosophy. Bernstein :47–74, 2005) traced its origin as a formal term to 1979, where social science scholars coined the phrase as a label for a type of activism. Its initial iteration pertained to persons with disabilities who challenged prevailing societal perceptions. Over the next two decades, scholars broadened its use to mean a category of collective action that included violent ethnic conflict and activist nationalism. Below, the discussion of the term begins with its semantic and philosophical provenance and explores its discursive engagement with the ever modifying meanings of gender, race or ethnicity and sexual orientation in society and education. It is association with these categories as forms of joint group membership that ipso facto gives rise to political activism to advance beliefs, bring about change or to promote a given worldview.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-72761-5_61
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