ABSTRACT

Identity politics has had a mixed press. In support Rosalind Brunt describes it as ‘politics whose starting point is about recognising the degree to which political activity and effort involves a continuous process of making and remaking ourselves —and ourselves in relation to others’ (Brunt 1989:151). Disparagingly, Jenny Bourne complains that this emphasis entails a retreat from collective, emancipatory, political projects: ‘Identity Politics is all the rage. Exploitation is out (it is extrinsically determinist). Oppression is in (it is intrinsically personal). What is to be done is replaced by who am I’ (Bourne 1987:1).1