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Abstract

This review presents an overview of research on identity politics. First, I distinguish between various approaches to defining identity politics and the challenges presented by each approach. In the process, I show that these approaches reflect competing theoretical understandings of the relationship between experience, culture, identity, politics, and power. These debates raise theoretical issues that I address in the second section, including () how to understand the relationship between personal experience and political stance, () why status identities are understood and/or portrayed as essentialist or socially constructed, () the strategic dilemmas activists face when the identities around which a movement is organized are also the basis for oppression, () when to attribute certain movement outcomes to status identities, and () how to link collective action to specific notions of power to help explain the cultural and political goals at which identity politics is aimed. I conclude by recommending some promising avenues for future research.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100054
2005-08-11
2024-04-18
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100054
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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