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Identity Politics

Identity has become an important phenomenon in the modern politics. The identification of a member of the group based on sharing common attributes like gender, language, religion, culture and ethnicity etc indicates the existence or formation of identity. The mobilization based on these indicators is called identity politics.

Identity politics is said to signify a wide range of political activity and theorizing based in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups. As a political activity it is thus considered to signify a body of political projects that attempts a recovery from exclusion and denigration of groups hitherto marginalized on the basis of differences based on their selfhood determining characteristics like ethnicity, gender, sexual preferences, caste positions etc.

Identity politics thus attempts to attain empowerment, representation and recognition of social groups by asserting the very same indicators that distinguished and differentiated them from the others and utilize them as an assertion of selfhood and identity based on difference rather than equality.

The strongest criticism against identity politics is that it often challenged by the same indicators upon which the sense of self or community is supposed to rest.

It is despite the fact that identity politics is engaged in numerous aspects of oppression and powerlessness, reclaiming and transforming negative aspects used by dominant groups into powerful instruments for building positive images of self and community.