Is identity something that is fixed and given or fluid and created? Do we receive an identity or do we forge it for ourselves?
Over the last 20-30 years what the urban theorist Manuel Castells calls ‘primary identities’ – gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality – have become the foundation for the development of new models of grass-roots politics. Such patterns of political activism have become especially important in urban communities, on occasions supplanting formal models of doing politics. They are also of real importance for anyone who is interested in understanding the relationship between identity, spirituality, religion and activism. In an increasingly fluid and superdiverse city can ‘identity’ provide an inclusive basis for dialogue or networked activism and community development?
Culture on the Edge is an online resource that offers fascinating and challenging reflections on identity and its formation – It’s well worth having a look.