ASTK18320U Identity and the Politics of Difference
Bachelor student (2017 programme curriculum): 7.5 ECTS
Master student: 7.5 ECTS
Notice: It is only possible to enroll for one course having a 3-day compulsory written take-home assignment exam due to coincident exam periods.
It is difficult to avoid talk of identity in politics today. Whether called upon in the spirit of emancipation, national unity, or criticized as politically redundant, the concept of identity has a huge impact on the way we all operate as political beings. This course offers a window into key discussions of identity in political thought over the last three decades. The course will pay special attention to how the various conceptions of identity offer justifications for particular forms of political action. For instance, how Butler’s theory of gender performativity encourages the subversion of identity, how Taylor’s conception calls for authenticity and self-fulfillment, and how Parekh’s dialectic of identity underpins an entire theory of political dialogue.
By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate a deeper knowledge of:
- The different approaches to the concept of identity as discussed in the selected literature.
- The core contributors to this field of study, and how they relate to one another.
- The strengths and weaknesses found within each approach.
- A greater understanding and respect for conceptions of identity as they appear in contemporary political theory.
Students will develop their skills in:
- Comparing and analysing different theoretical perspectives within the selected literature.
- Applying key theoretical concepts to new and unexpected political developments relating to the field of study.
- Understanding the historical and theoretical relationships between seemingly discrete positions and approaches.
In addition, students will be able to:
- Elucidate and critically assess the concepts and theories studied in this elective, making reference to real-world events, issues, and political developments.
- Communicate complex ideas and concepts to their peers through presentations and group discussions.
In order of study:
Pateman, C. (1988) The Sexual Contract, Polity Press: Cambridge
Butler, J. (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Routledge: Abingdon
Moi, T. (1999) What is a Woman? And Other Essays, Oxford University Press: Oxford
Taylor, C. (1992) The Ethics of Authenticity, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.
Parekh, B. (2008) A New Politics of Identity:Political Principles for an Independent World, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke
Sen, A. (2006) Identity & Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, Penguin Books: London
- Class Instruction
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignment3-day compulsory written take-home assignment
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
- For the semester in which the course takes place: 3-day compulsory written take-home assignment
- For the following semesters: Free written assignment
Criteria for exam assesment
- Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
- Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
- Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner