¶ … anti-essentialism very interesting. This is particularly true, when one focuses on the many contentious debates regarding racial and gender equality in America. For example, an essentialist understanding of an indigenous identity would focus on surviving cultural traits, those practices and customs, objects and ideas that have survived colonialism with little or no change. Narayan and Williams explain that cultural norms are not universal however. They state that meaning is generated through the relationship between signs. In regards to cultural identity, individuals within a particular culture are different and unique. Words are not held to have referents with essential or universal qualities. More importantly, according to Narayan, categories change their meanings according to time, place and usage. It is this context, that meaning is therefore derived. This becomes even more contentious when race and emotion becomes involved.
This anti-essentialism aspect is too simplistic however. How do we, as observes, distinguish between minor and significant changes in a particular trait or culture? It is my belief that many of these aspects, if they change, change too slowly for any of us to perceive the change. This is especially true for outside observers who are not in a ...
It is therefore my belief that an understanding of indigenous identity is one that is not fixated on traits, but focused on struggle. This struggle is the catalyst that renews traits and culture. An example of these interpretations of anti-essentialism can be derived from the women's movement towards equal pay in America. The central issue in feminist controversies over essentialism was whether there are any shared characteristics common to all women, which unify them as a group. This was particularly important as women would be better able to present a more unified and cooperative brand to the public. However, many leading feminist thinkers of the 1970s and 1980s rejected essentialism as a form of fighting for women's rights. They acted in this manner on the grounds that universal claims about women are invariably false. Much like Narayan and Williams stated in their works, categories change their meanings over time. In addition, I believe that struggle ultimately can redefine these cultural traits. This instance is no different.
However, this notion soon diminished in the 1990's as anti-essentialism undercut the collective activities that motivated women to stick together. Essentially as women struggled to make a solid movement,…
This becomes even more contentious when race and emotion becomes involved.
Scientology Introducing a New Religious Movement, one must be as objective as possible. I, for instance, could choose to tell you that L. Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954 and marketed it as an organization for social reform that essentially became the global force it is today, with (young, professional, stylish, racially-diverse) adherents providing positive sound bites on Scientology.org that promote (in naturalistic, community-oriented settings) the religion as
Gender as Performance Theodore Dreiser's 1900 novel Sister Carrie is in style and tone in many ways radically different from Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, published just five years later. And yet there is in both works a similar core, what might be called a parallel moral, for both novels explore the ways in which gender is performative in the two societies that we learn about within the world of
57). Coker's article (published in a very conservative magazine in England) "reflected unease among some of his colleagues" about that new course at LSEP. Moreover, Coker disputes that fact that there is a female alternative to male behavior and Coker insists that "Whether they love or hate humanity, feminists seem unable to look it in the face" (Smith quoting Coker, p. 58). If feminists are right about the female nature being