Why and how do contemporary questions of culture so readily become highly charged questions of identity? The question of cultural identity lies at the heart of current debates in cultural studies and social theory. At issue is whether those identities which defined the social and cultural world of modern societies for so long - distinctive identities of gender, sexuality, race, class and nationality - are in decline, giving rise to new forms of identification and fragmenting the modern individual as a unified subject. Questions of Cultural Identity offers a wide-ranging exploration of this issue. Stuart Hall firstly outlines the reasons why the question of identity is so compelling and yet so problematic. The cast of

Interrupting Identities: Turkey/Europe

Interrupting Identities: Turkey/Europe

Interrupting identities: Turkey/Europe

In general, I am concerned with the possibilities of dynamism and openness in cultural identities, and consequently with what inhibits and resists such qualities, promoting in their place rigidity and closure. Change implies the capacity to relinquish at least aspects of a given identity. This, however, is likely to provoke feelings of anxiety and fear in the collectivity (Shall we not suffer through our loss? What shall we be turned into?). This is a basic fear about the mortality of the collective institution. It is, as Cornelius Castoriadis maintains, ‘the fear, which is in fact quite justified, that everything, even meaning, will dissolve’.1 In defence against such a catastrophic eventuality, the collectivity will assert the possibility of its self-perpetuation, elaborating ...

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