(Re)envisioning Identity Politics
The recent ban on same sex unions in California, known as Proposition 8 (see article below), dealt a major blow to LGBTQ movements across the country. This latest legal obstacle highlights some of the difficulties faced by identity politics movements. The goal of social movements like those embracing identity politics is often referred to as the call for recognition, be it legal, cultural, political, and/or social. Nancy Fraser’s work in critical social theory reconceptualizes calls for recognition as simultaneously calls for economic redistribution. Fraser calls for strategies of action that bypass issues of morality, instead, repositioning identity politics as seeking to correct injustices. This shift in approach would mean for example that the legitimization of same sex unions is in fact linked to economic redistribution since heterosexual unions and marriages confer economic advantages (tax credits, insurance benefits, etc.) Positioning same sex unions in this way is supposed to prevent the opposition to same sex union based on religious or moral grounds. With this latest set back to LGBTQ movements, perhaps it is time to (re)envision strategies for recognition.