Identity Trouble assembles contributions from a variety of discourse fields to discuss the pressures on traditional understandings of identity. The focus is on failures and uncertainties in people's construction of their identities when faced change and the contributors raise critical questions about identity and how it may be reconfigured.
Besides providing a thorough overview of advances in the concept of identity in Translation Studies, the book brings together a variety of approaches to identity as seen through the prism of translation. Individual chapters are united by the topic and their predominantly cultural approach, but they also supply dynamic impulses for the reader, since their methodologies, level of abstraction, and subject matter differ. The theoretical impulses brought together here include a call for the ecology of translational attention, a proposal of transcultural and farcical translation and a rethinking of Bourdieu’s habitus in terms of František Miko’s experiential complex. The book also offers first-hand insights into such topics as post-communist translation practices, provides sociological insights into the role politics played during state socialism in the creation of fields of translated fiction and the way imported fiction was able to subvert the intentions of the state, gives evidence of the struggles of small locales trying to be recognised though their literature, and draws links between local theory and more widely-known concepts.
In our turbulent world of global flows and digital transformations pervasive identity crises and self-reinvention have become increasingly central to everyday life. In this fascinating book, Anthony Elliott shows how global transformations – the new electronic economy, digital worlds, biotechnologies and artificial intelligence - generatesa metamorphosis across the force-field of identities today. Identity Troubles documents various contemporary mutations of identity – from robotics to biomedicine, from cosmetic surgery to digital lives – and considers their broader social, cultural and political consequences. Elliott offers a synthesis of the key conceptual innovations in identity studies in the context of recent social theory. He critically examines accounts of "individualization", "reflexivity", "liquidization" and "new maladies of the soul" – situating these in wider social and historical contexts, and drawing out critical themes. He follows with a series of chapters looking at how what is truly new in contemporary life is having profound consequences for identities, both private and public. This book will be essential reading for undergraduate students in sociology, cultural studies, political science, and human geography. It offers the first comprehensive overview of identity studies in the interdisciplinary field of social theory.
A brilliant assault on our obsession with every difference except the one that really matters—the difference between rich and poor If there's one thing Americans agree on, it's the value of diversity. Our corporations vie for slots in the Diversity Top 50, our universities brag about minority recruiting, and every month is Somebody's History Month. But in this provocative new book, Walter Benn Michaels argues that our enthusiastic celebration of "difference" masks our neglect of America's vast and growing economic divide. Affirmative action in schools has not made them more open, it's just guaranteed that the rich kids come in the appropriate colors. Diversity training in the workplace has not raised anybody's salary (except maybe the diversity trainers') but it has guaranteed that when your job is outsourced, your culture will be treated with respect. With lacerating prose and exhilarating wit, Michaels takes on the many manifestations of our devotion to diversity, from companies apologizing for slavery, to a college president explaining why there aren't more women math professors, to the codes of conduct in the new "humane corporations." Looking at the books we read, the TV shows we watch, and the lawsuits we bring, Michaels shows that diversity has become everyone's sacred cow precisely because it offers a false vision of social justice, one that conveniently costs us nothing. The Trouble with Diversity urges us to start thinking about real justice, about equality instead of diversity. Attacking both the right and the left, it will be the most controversial political book of the year.