Citizenship, Identity and the Politics of Multiculturalism: by N. Meer

By N. Meer

This publication proposes a clean standpoint at the emergence of public Muslim identities, traversing problems with Muslim-state engagement throughout govt projects and church-state kin, throughout equalities agendas and the schooling procedure, the courts and the media.

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14 This concern further instils the need to unpack Du Bois' description before we analyse and adapt it for conceptual use in any normative sense. In the opening half of the passage, Du Bois outlines his reading of the self, specifically the significance of (la) the internalisation by AfricanAmericans of the contempt white America has for them, and (lb) the creation of an additional perspective in the form of a 'gifted second sight' to which experiencing this gives rise. In the second half of the passage he identifies how societal incongruencies emerge from (2a) conceiving of African-Americans as having fewer civic rights but no less the duties or responsibilities of an ideal of American citizenship, and (2b) diverging sets of unreconciled ideals or 'strivings' held by AfricanAmericans which are objected to by white society, specifically emerging from an 'enduring hyphenation' signalled in his notion of 'twoness'.

The term 'multicultural' refers to the fact of cultural diversity, the term 'multiculturalism' to a normative response to that fact (emphasis added). What is being argued is that, in their defence of a wholesale rejection of a normative and state-sponsored multiculturalism, Gilroy and others have defended only the 'multiculture' and not the communitarian version. For it is precisely the sociological and normative conceptions of community that some 'multiculturalists' are distancing themselves from in the conceptualisation of 'multiculture' as multiculturalism without groups.

This is because the master's conception of himself - as truly independent and recognised as such by the slave - is necessarily mediated through this two-party relationship. Having argued that the master achieves a dependent rather than an absolute status, Hegel insists that it is in fact the very freedom of the master that is determined through his relation to the slave, specifically because the consciousness of the one party is necessarily mediated through its relation to the other: In all this, the unessential consciousness is, for the master, the object which embodies the truth of his certainty for himself.

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