This book examines claims for recognition of cultural difference from immigrant and Indigenous minorities, highlighting the ways in which they intersect with ideas of national community. Busbridge argues that there is an important, albeit under-explored, relationship between nation and multicultural politics of recognition.
Drawing on the Australian context, the book explores how nation features as a productive, if somewhat ambivalent, discursive resource in contemporary Muslim and Aboriginal struggles to be recognised. In demanding recognition, minorities enter into the business of ‘making the nation’ by positing alternative conceptions of national identity, culture and belonging that are more attentive to their differences and claims. This dynamic is engaged as an expression of ‘postcolonial citizenship’. Postcolonial citizenship is imagined in terms of the ways in which minority groups actualise multicultural realities through rewriting ideas of national community. It underlines the critical importance of revising the power relations that deem some groups ‘more national’ and others less so – and which, in Western multicultural societies, are typically tied to notions of the ‘West’ and its ‘others’.
This book is an important conceptual, theoretical and political intervention that brings postcolonialism and multiculturalism into dialogue on the increasingly potent issues of nation and national identity. It will be of great interest to scholars and students of sociology, politics, postcolonial studies, culture, identity and nation.
1 Rethinking the nation: Between recognition and postcolonial politics
2 Conceptualising nation: Discourse, democracy and postcolonial debate
3 Postcolonial politics of recognition?
4 Contingent universals and shifting particulars: Reorienting recognition struggles
5 Beyond clashing civilisations: Muslim revisions of recognition in popular culture
6 Aboriginal Australians and recognition politics: Reconciliation, apology, sovereignty
7 Thinking postcolonial citizenship
‘Postcolonial Politics’ is a series that publishes books that lie at the intersection of politics and postcolonial theory. That point of intersection once barely existed; its recent emergence is enabled, first, because a new form of ‘politics’ is beginning to make its appearance. Intellectual concerns that began life as a (yet unnamed) set of theoretical interventions from scholars largely working within the ‘New Humanities’ have now begun to migrate into the realm of politics. The result is politics with a difference, with a concern for the everyday, the ephemeral, the serendipitous and the unworldly. Second, postcolonial theory has raised a new set of concerns in relation to understandings of the non-West. At first these concerns and these questions found their home in literary studies, but they were also, always, political. Edward Said’s binary of ‘Europe and its other’ introduced us to a ‘style of thought’ that was as much political as it was cultural as much about the politics of knowledge as the production of knowledge, and as much about life on the street as about a philosophy of being, A new, broader and more reflexive understanding of politics, and a new style of thinking about the non-Western world, make it possible to ‘think’ politics through postcolonial theory, and to ‘do’ postcolonial theory in a fashion which picks up on its political implications.
Postcolonial Politics attempts to pick up on these myriad trails and disruptive practices. The series aims to help us read culture politically, read ‘difference’ concretely, and to problematise our ideas of the modern, the rational and the scientific by working at the margins of a knowledge system that is still logocentric and Eurocentric. This is where a postcolonial politics hopes to offer new and fresh visions of both the postcolonial and the political.