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Identity Politics Then and Now


Identity politics, or collective activism based on embodied experiences of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity or nationality, existed before the late twentieth century, but the term was coined in the 1970s and widely circulated in the 1980s as a response to social injustice, widespread prejudice and even assault borne by members of specific minority groups. For lesbians, gays and transsexuals, for ethnic minorities like Native Americans in the US or First Nations in Canada, for women in many Western countries, identity politics has meant working proactively for full legal and social recognition. Feminism often flies under the banner of identity politics with the argument that gender equality is still far from the norm in Western societies and even less so in many Asian and African societies, and in those of the Arab world.

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Elin Diamond , Unmaking Mimesis: Essays of Feminism and Theater (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), pp. 106–9

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Theatre Research International
  • ISSN: 0307-8833
  • EISSN: 1474-0672
  • URL: /core/journals/theatre-research-international
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