Un/settled Multiculturalisms: Diasporas, Entanglements, "transruptions"

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Barnor Hesse
Zed Books, 2000 - Social Science - 262 pages
This anthology reconsiders the social, political and intellectual meanings of multiculturalism in the West, particularly Britain. In introducing a new conceptual language for thinking about it, the volume stresses the importance of distinguishing between the multicultural as a signifier of the unsettled meanings of cultural differences, and multiculturalism as the signfied of attempts to 'fix' their meaning in national imaginaries. The book also casts the debates about multiculturalism in the contexts of globalization, post-colonialism and what Barnor Hesse calls 'multicultural transruptions' - which he sees as resurgent, irrepressible multicultural issues which unsettle the racialized meanings of social norms and the cultural habits of national politics.Divided into two parts, the first considers a variety of diaspora formations ranging from the Muslim Umma and Black Britain to the Chinese foodscape andTransatlantic Black sporting performances. It examines their transnational impact on how cultural differences are lived and poses questions for how we participate in and think about Western societies. The second part on cultural entanglements focuses on media constructions of the 'Asian Gang' in Britain, gender and sexuality in 'ragga music', and the ambivalences of Black/White identities in post-Apartheid South Africa. The contributors explore the consequences of understanding cultural identities as cross-cut by other identities and entangled with wider social issues, rather than simply existing as distinct, celebratory and free-standing.The conclusion by Stuart Hall makes a timely reassessment of the multicultural question for the social cohesiveness and political future of liberal democracies.Un/Settled Multiculturalisms offers a fresh and reinvigorated challenge to those who continue to ignore the complex political and theoretical implications of living in the contested post-colonial fall-out of Western 'multicultural-scapes'.
 

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Contents

No multiculturalism please were British The demise
13
Nations and Diasporas the Case
33
The Umma and diasporic logics
47
Packaging and unpacking black performance 53 Race
70
Space
73
Chinese in Britain or British Chinese? The takeaway
94
Ethnicity Identity
123
gang 126 Making black masculinity visible 131
131
Eroticism and social power? 155 Batty riders batty men
166
Living
185
Questions of location 190 Problematizing whiteness
195
Living the moments of entanglement 201
201
the Multicultural Question
209
Conditions of emergence 212 The subaltern proliferation
221
Unsettling culture 22s Unsettling the foundations of
236
Bibliography
242

unraceing
137
gendering the Asian gang 137 Critically researching
145
slackness
154

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About the author (2000)

Barnor Hesse is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of East London, UK.

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