Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription

Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription

Lexington Books
May 2012
142 pages
Size: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7391-7190-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7391-9057-9
eBook ISBN: 978-0-7391-7191-2

Andrew J. Pierce, Lecturer
Department of Philosophy
Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut

Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription argues that groups have an irreducibly collective right to determine the meaning of their shared group identity, and that such a right is especially important for historically oppressed groups. The author specifies this right by way of a modified discourse ethic, demonstrating that it can provide the foundation for a conception of identity politics that avoids many of its usual pitfalls. The focus throughout is on racial identity, which provides a test case for the theory. That is, it investigates what it would mean for racial identities to be self-ascribed rather than imposed, establishing the possible role racial identity might play in a just society. The book thus makes a unique contribution to both the field of critical theory, which has been woefully silent on issues of race, and to race theory, which often either presumes that a just society would be a raceless society, or focuses primarily on understanding existing racial inequalities, in the manner typical of so-called “non-ideal theory.”

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Minority Cultures and Oppressed Groups: Competing Explanatory Frameworks
  • Chapter 2: Collective Identity, Group Rights, and the Liberal Tradition of Law
  • Chapter 3: Identity Politics Within the Limits of Deliberative Democracy
  • Chapter 4: The Future of Racial Identity: A Test Case
Tags: , ,