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aries1988 : identity   31

陈丹青新加坡演讲:母语与母国 - 日记 - 豆瓣
自古以来,中国是个宗法文化,宗族文化,认同乡,认同姓,认同宗,但未必认母语,认国家。“国家”概念传进来,只有一百多年,是洋人弄出来的名号。法国,英国,最早创立现代国家,有了“国家”这个词,这个概念。此后,各国跟上来了,爱国主义啊,叛国啊,敌国啊,友国啊,等等。你到东晋去问陶渊明,他不会说“我是中国人”,他会说“我是东晋人”。《桃花源记》说:“不知有汉,无论魏晋”。你去问苏东坡,他会说“我是北宋人”不会说“我是中国人”。你去问董其昌,他会说“我是(某一代皇帝的)明朝人”,我忘了他的一生经历了几个皇帝。他的画,那个时候也不叫“中国画”,甚至不叫“水墨画”。
chinese  language  patriotism  origin  identity  singapore 
17 days ago by aries1988
专访许颖婷:“我係香港人”,纪念六四反对“送中”,但其实我比以前更温和了

许:我现在有一两个我觉得头脑还蛮清晰的中国朋友,那时候文章写出来后,她们都会支持鼓励我。我们有时候也会一起讨论中国的政情,可是我始终不能很完整地跟她们讨论香港的情况,因为她们说到底也是在中共控制的教育下成长,信息和观点会有不同。
我觉得中国内部的人也开始对外界接触变多,其中一部分人的思想比起其他人更加进步及理性,也因为如此,中国内地也出现批评中共的思潮,像是我们有时会在网络上会看到一些人摄录的剖白影片,他们很多都以“最后一次说真话”的态度去向外界揭露中共的丑恶。但是这些言论通常都会被政府迅速拿下,所以中国人距离思想开放仍然还有很长的路。

端:因为有些大陆学生在谈到新疆时会有羞愧感,这也从另一个侧面显示出国家认同的强度。

这个条例如果通过的话,无论你是香港人还是外国人,在香港境内都已经成为可以被引渡的对象。我们最担心的,是如果中国成为引渡目的地的问题。中国的法治排名是82,香港是16,他们的定罪率是99.9%,我们怎么能信任中国的司法,让香港人去受审呢?
而且这个条例一旦通过,中国会有更大权力把政治犯、商人或者记者带到中国,那我们的自由基本上就没了。不管是集会、言论还是媒体自由都是如此,因为我们自己会开始自我审查,怕被抓而不敢说话。

我看到最近一项民调显示,如果条例通过,一半香港人会考虑移民,我觉得可能这就是他们(北京)想要达到的目的,因为在香港受过自由教育的人会离开,而他们会注入来自大陆的人,那香港就要“灰飞烟灭”了。
hongkong  independence  democracy  china  opinion  freedom  expression  youth  conflict  autocracy  authoritarian  ccp  leader  manif  interview  explained  stereotype  identity 
8 weeks ago by aries1988
Person of Color Column: I am from Hong Kong, not China - The Berkeley Beacon
China appoints a chief executive every five years after a conditional election among the election committee. Hong Kong’s legal system is embedded within a supreme law called the Basic Law, while citizens elect their legislators in the Legislative Council every four years.

The outbreak of the Umbrella Revolution, a 79-day occupying movement in 2014 when people asked for universal suffrage in electing the chief executive, put a spotlight on people’s ethnic identification.
manifesto  controversy  hongkong  young  identity  china  chinese 
8 weeks ago by aries1988
李肇祐:在香港,認同「中華民族」的人,心裏是怎樣的「中華」?
在最近一项研究中,我提出香港人的中国人身分认同,或取决于一些关于人类社群的基本信念。具体一点来说,他们到底倾向相信社群的特征会受外在环境影响,抑或是难以改变的?

根据 Molden 和 Dweck (2006)的观点,人们对社群的信念大致可分为两类:可塑(malleable)和固定(fixed)。前者假设社群的属性以至当中成员的行为皆是由环境决定,会因领袖变化等外部因素而改变;后者则相信社群的特征是(近乎)固定的,甚至与生俱来。我们经常听到的“民族性”、“族群基因”论(如“古巴人有快乐的基因”),隐含的正是此类信念。

社群的可塑性为他们在中港矛盾中维持中国人身分认同提供了一个基础。

首先,两个实验组别的参加者对社群的可塑性的看法有显著差异,表明“科普文章”成功刺激他们对有关议题产生特定看法。其次,那些收到强调族群可塑性文章的参加者普遍比另一实验组别的参加者有更高的中国人身分认同。由于参加者所阅读的文章乃随机选出,我们有较大的信心推断参加者关于社群可塑性的想法与中国人身分认同存在一定因果关系。

今天全球环绕身分认同的冲突此起彼落,我们有必要找出,是甚么导致很多文化上有共通点、表面上能够和平共存的群体(如香港人和内地人)隔阂越来越深?

自2000年代以来,香港政府不断努力提高市民对中华民族的认同。通过社会组织,课程改革和交流活动,香港人,特别是学生,被灌输香港“自古以来”就是中华民族的一分子,有共同的历史及文化,中华民族各成员的关系“血浓于水”,彼此“同根同心”。与此同时,中国内不同族群之间的矛盾及差异则被有系统的掩盖。在中港两地人心愈走愈远的今天,或许我们该问,这些看似政治正确的宣传,会否同时令人对社群产生僵化的印象,或如赵永佳教授(2016)所说,令香港人缺乏面对一个复杂多元的中国的“抗体”,导致他们在面对中港间种种冲突时,对“中华民族”更加抗拒呢?
research  community  identity  nation  origin  poll  experiment  hongkong  chinese 
may 2019 by aries1988
The Parable of the Hanukkah Scolds (With a Lesson for Non-Jews, Too)
Gift giving is thought to be a holdover from Roman winter festivals. Santa Claus is a Greek saint who got garbled into something very different by medieval Dutch and English folk culture. The reindeer are from Finland. Jesus and his early followers would probably find the traditional Christmas ham to be just as shocking and un-Christian as the elves in the North Pole.

It’s one of the most persistent myths about how identity works: that there is some true core version — of Hanukkah, of Jewishness, of Americanness — constantly at risk of foreign contamination. But there is no pure core. It’s foreign contamination all the way through.

But just because identity is made up -- a more formal phrase is "socially constructed" -- doesn't make it meaningless.
jewish  identity  usa  conflict  opinion  christmas  children  tradition 
january 2019 by aries1988
How to Control Your Citizens: Opportunity. Nationalism. Fear. - The New York Times
“Today you have the largest bureaucracy in history, with a capacity to intrude in anything,” said William C. Kirby, a professor of China studies at Harvard. “It isn’t just ideology. There are now enormous numbers of interest groups that don’t like competition.”

For guidance, Mr. Ni often looks to Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba, who is China’s richest man and a cultlike figure among many businessmen. Mr. Ni is currently enrolled in a business school program that Mr. Ma established to cultivate China’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

Over the years, Mr. Ma has spoken publicly about the push-pull relationship between private companies and the government, though there is one piece of his advice for entrepreneurs that Mr. Ni seems to have especially taken to heart: “Fall in love. But don’t marry.”

part of it was something deeper: a desire to help the country catch up with the West and to reconnect with her Chinese roots.

Exposed to liberal democracy, Ms. Hua’s generation was supposed to be the one that demanded it at home. Middle-class Chinese students poured into universities in the United States and Europe — then seen as the most promising path to wealth and prestige — and some Western analysts predicted that they would return to China as a force for political change.

Like many other middle-class parents, Ms. Hua worries about repression and rampant materialism in Chinese society. Yet many of these parents say they want their children to see themselves as Chinese above all else — to understand China’s roots as an agrarian society and to have a sense of pride in the perseverance of the Chinese people through decades of poverty and strife.

Even as some analysts argue that China’s success has more to do with the resilience of its people than the Communist Party and its policies, leaders have been adept at shaping a politicized nationalism that reinforces the primacy of the party — and defends the authoritarian model as the best bulwark against chaos.

“Chinese nationalism binds the people with the state, not to each other,” said Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.
entrepreneurial  china  jiangsu  portrait  rich  conflict  state  parents  children  education  identity  chinese 
november 2018 by aries1988
岛上无事发生(下)
最好金杯换酒

大陆最终的优势在于它的纵深和复杂——即便是那种泥沙俱下的复杂也是生命力之所在。尤其是在北京,这里的人们更加多元,历史底蕴依然厚重,有更多更有趣的文化活动,也并非所有的事物都会被折算成金钱。忘了在哪儿看到有人说,北京像是纽约,一个人必须非主流才能入流(You have to be out to be in),而在上海,这个人必须入流才能入流(You have to be in to be in)。此处的上海也可换作香港。
beijing  shanghai  comparison  identity  environment 
november 2018 by aries1988
Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

When we moved back to California two years later, I entered fourth grade and suddenly, I was the Asian kid. Ching chong chang chong ching! boys chanted on the playground, tugging at the corners of their eyes. Classmates scrunched their noses at the onigiri — rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed — that my mother packed in my lunch bag. When our teacher mentioned Japan during a social studies lesson, every head in the class swiveled to stare at me.

Here we are known as hafu, which comes from the English word half, and our existence challenges the strain in Japanese society that conflates national identity with pure-blooded ethnicity.

Ms. Osaka delivered the best possible reply: I’m just me.

When I have been reserved or less assertive than people think a situation calls for, they have attributed it to my Japanese side.

when colleagues have mistaken me for another Asian employee in the newsroom, I realize some people still instinctively want to pigeonhole me as one, but not both.
japan  japanese  identity  gaijin  anecdote  society  self  conflict 
october 2018 by aries1988
The French Origins of “You Will Not Replace Us”

He sees immigration as one aspect of a nefarious global process that renders obsolete everything from cuisine to landscapes. “The very essence of modernity is the fact that everything—and really everything—can be replaced by something else, which is absolutely monstrous,” he said.

When Benoist writes that “humanity is irreducibly plural” and that “diversity is part of its very essence,” he is not supporting the idea of a melting pot but of diversity in isolation

These disciples, instead of calling for an “Islamic holocaust,” can argue that rootedness in one’s homeland matters, and that immigration, miscegenation, and the homogenizing forces of neoliberal market economies collude to obliterate identities that have taken shape over hundreds of years—just as relentless development has decimated the environment. Benoist’s romantic-sounding ideas can be cherry-picked and applied to local political resentments.

Faye, like Renaud Camus, is appalled by the dictates of modern statecraft, which define nationality in legal rather than ethnic terms.

Camus lamenting that “a veiled woman speaking our language badly, completely ignorant of our culture” could declare that she is just as French as an “indigenous” man who is “passionate for Roman churches, and for the verbal and syntactic delicacies of Montaigne and Rousseau, for Burgundy wines, for Proust, and whose family has lived for generations in the same valley.” What appalls Camus, Polakow-Suransky notes, is that “legally, if she has French nationality, she is completely correct.”

This is true, but there is always a threshold at which a quantitative change becomes qualitative; migration was far less extensive in the Middle Ages than it is today. French liberals can surely make a case for immigration without pretending that nothing has changed: a country that in 1900 was almost uniformly Catholic now has more than six million Muslims.

Yet feminism, Starbucks, the smartphone, the L.G.B.T.Q. movement, the global domination of English, EasyJet, Paris’s loss of centrality in Western cultural life—all of these developments have disrupted what it means “to be French.” The problem with identitarianism isn’t simply that it is nostalgic; it’s that it fixates on ethnicity to the exclusion of all else.
interview  usa  islam  muslim  france  français  intelligentsia  book  debate  population  race  altright  culture  identity  liberalism 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人——胡清心:一碗九龙城海派清真牛肉汤,带我重新认识“没文化”的香港|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
港人以身处国际金融中心为傲,充满活力的中环更是象征,可我却发现那印在香港名片上的光鲜亮丽的景象,只是属于某一部分高收入人群而已,而大多数人都过着营营役役的生活,为着可以蜗居的斗室而劳碌至死;港人往往为自己城市的国际化自豪,殖民历史带来中西交汇的香港文化,每年更有大量来自世界各地的留学生、外籍雇员、游客光顾香港。作为一座国际大都市,比如纽约、伦敦,应当有着百花齐放的多元文化与价值观,不同族裔和社群都有展示自己独特文化的空间,更应当有丰富的文化艺术及创意事业,为非主流或者亚文化的生活形式及创作提供舞台。但在香港,整个社会不仅是华人文化占据绝对主流,社会价值观更趋向单一,人生的目标不过是工作、投资、赚钱、买车、买楼、买名牌,只要不循规蹈矩走这一条路,都会被斥为不思进取,狭窄逼兀的空间让夹缝中的另类声音与少数派难以扎根成长;因为使用繁体字、家庭及社区中仍有着浓重的中国传统民俗,港人往往自认保留了被中共摧毁的中国传统文化,可我却发现无论教育水平高低,大多港人几乎很难写出一手流畅通顺更勿论词藻优美的书面中文,掌握文字方面的能力更比不上用“残体字”的陆生;而港人虽然言必及香港的廉政公署、法治昌明、言论自由,可就我观察大多数香港人的生活只不过是逛商场、吃饭、买名牌、看好莱坞(好莱坞)大片,对其他的事物和历史根本毫无兴趣。

最令我吃惊的是,清真牛肉馆的咖喱牛肉粉丝汤竟然吃出了我童年上海的味道——在上海的生煎锅贴小吃店,传统的上海人点上一份生煎或锅贴,总要搭配一份咖喱牛肉粉丝汤。这咖喱味不是印度或者日本咖喱,而是用咖喱粉冲出来的,夹杂着浓烈的胡椒味,颜色暗沉的汤里面飘着香菜叶子,用筷子一捞,透明的粉丝夹着一片片牛肉一起浮出水面。

而这个放下成见、开放对话的过程,更是一个逐渐放下大中华主义的过程。尽管当代社会推崇的是多元文化,但是但凡在中国大陆接受过基础教育的人,总是被深深植入了一套东西二元对立的,以中国为中心的叙述与思维模式。祖国幅员辽阔的国土与丰富多彩的民族及出产,中国上下五千年的历史和源远流长的传统文化,无论是地理、历史、常识还是语文课,经过筛选的常识,经过铺排的知识,甚至对于中文语言的规范化使用,其目的不仅仅是知识教育,更是一种教化,作为一个中国人有哪些常识需要理解,应该如何叙述自我身份。这一整套身为中国人的知识体系,成了我们内部进行对话的常识体系,也是与他者对话的平台。

港人与内地人之所以对话困难重重,原因之一正是对这套大中华主义底下的知识体系的不同态度。

大中华主义文化可怕的,不是中华文化,而是大中华主义;那种必须压倒其他一切认识世界方式的霸权,并非中华文化,而是大中华主义让香港被打上了“没文化”的标签。如何让香港摆脱“没文化”的标签,一则是让属于香港的带有温度的故事不仅仅活在博物馆内、留在过期的报纸上,更应透过我们带有情意的叙述和记忆,让它们重新活过来;另一方面,是在面对大中华主义文化的挤压的时候,无所畏惧和焦虑,并非因为香港文化优越过大中华文化,而是因为,一方水土一方人,并不需要以贬低他人才能获得认同感。
hongkong  opinion  china  chinese  debate  identity 
november 2017 by aries1988
How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613 | Aeon Ideas

By this criterion, Caliban is part of the prehistory of ‘how the Irish became white’, as the historian Noel Ignatiev put it in 1995. None of this is to say that Caliban is actually any of these particular identities, nor that the Dark Lady should literally be identified as belonging to any specific group either, rather that both examples provide a window on the earliest period when our current racial categorisations began to take shape, while still being divergent enough from how our racialised system would ultimately develop.

there are compelling reasons to think that many in a Jacobean audience would rather understand Caliban as being more akin to the first targets of English colonialism, the Irish.

Middleton’s play indicates the coalescing of another racial pole in contrast to blackness, and that’s whiteness – but which groups belonged to which pole was often in flux.
history  ethnic  race  invention  mentality  theater  human  identity  racism 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Anglo-Saxon is not American or British but a French alter-ego – Emile Chabal | Aeon Essays

when the French refer to ‘the Anglo-Saxon’ or use the term as an adjective, they are usually talking about themselves. The Anglo-Saxon is a mirror on Frenchness; it is France’s alter-ego and often its most feared enemy.

It was only in the 1860s that a new meaning began to appear in the wake of Napoleon III’s abortive attempts to extend the French empire into Latin America. In learned publications such as the Revue des races latines, founded in 1857, ‘Anglo-Saxonism’ was juxtaposed with ‘Latinity’ in an attempt to place France at the heart of a global Latin world that stretched from South America and the Caribbean to Madrid and Paris.

As has been the case ever since, the French both feared and admired the Anglo-Saxon at the turn of the 19th-century – and they used it as a vehicle for discussing their own national anxieties.

At times, English speakers can even fall into the same trap as their French counterparts when they lazily describe an idea or a way of thinking as ‘Anglo-American’ or ‘Atlantic’.
français  concept  uk  american  english  culture  identity  history  origin  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
Unspunnen: the festival of Swissness held every 12 years

In the US, I can’t even go for a swim or to the gym without signing my life away. But in Switzerland, I can pick up a boulder — up to 83kg — and hurl it (barefoot, if desired) while a large audience sits several feet away. More than teaching me about proper Swiss stone-throwing form, it teaches me about the Swiss culture of trust and personal responsibility.

Its aim was to heal growing political tension between the city dwellers of Bern and the farmers of the highlands to the south — areas recently amalgamated into one canton. The organisers, four influential citizens of Bern including the mayor and chief magistrate, hoped to emphasise shared heritage over power struggles and to cultivate the “mutual goodwill and gracious unity to which for centuries our fatherland has owed its strength, its glory and its good fortune”.

On my way to peruse the food tents, I hear what sounds like a very depressed cow — a tourist close by trying to blow an alpenhorn.

I opt for rösti, made with day-old cooked potatoes, butter, salt and milk, and considered by many Swiss German speakers to be the national dish. The country’s French speakers would argue for fondue but, in the true festival spirit of unity, both are available here.

The men wear black pants, black hats adorned with flowers and black velvet vests embroidered with edelweiss. The women are in various colourful dirndls, billowy white shirts, white tights and black shoes. The costumes differ slightly according to the wearers’ home region, and there are over 400 variations.

every 12 years, that stories of unadulterated Swiss culture embark on another world tour via Interlaken’s most famous export — the tourist.
swiss  tourist  festival  tradition  history  identity  culture  travel  idea 
september 2017 by aries1988
A Sri Lankan Museum on Staten Island
A high-school student showcases relics from her family’s country in the basement of their restaurant.
asia  identity  american  teenager  immigrant  story  museum 
august 2017 by aries1988
Catalonia’s referendum exposes a divided Spain 
Catalonia has been part of the Spanish state for centuries, yet many Catalans regard themselves as a nation apart, with their own language, culture and history. The region is one of the country’s 17 “autonomous communities”, with powers over matters such as education, healthcare and welfare, and a police force of its own. Despite occasional rumblings of discontent, the arrangement was, until recently, broadly accepted by Catalans and Spaniards alike. 

Catalans express their views from balconies and windows, thousands of which are covered with the distinctive red-yellow-and-blue estelada, the flag of Catalan independence. To know the political allegiance of a city, village or street in the region, all you have to do is look up.

Five centuries after the Catholic kings united the crowns of Castile and Aragon, Spain has to live with the fact that Basques and Catalans have not only preserved their languages but that many still see themselves as nations apart. For some Spaniards, who dream of a monolithic nation state à la française, this is hard to accept. For others, it offers an opportunity to overhaul old structures, both mental and constitutional, and turn Spain into a state that provides more room for different identities and nations, even the Catalan one.

The problem, he tells me, is that each camp looks at distant historical events through the lens of contemporary politics, and “projects back in history a kind of relationship that is anachronistic . . . History does not move in a steady direction. It is full of twists and turns.”

Even today, more than half the Catalan population says Spanish is the language of daily use. Their children, however, have mostly been through Catalan schools, exposed to lessons and texts that have little in common with the vision of Spain their parents grew up with. In some cases, schoolbooks replicate the broader Catalan narrative — of a nation apart, suppressed by Spain.
espagna  history  state  catalonia  barcelona  crisis  identity  2017 
july 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:唔關我事
在特朗普身上,在香港一些年輕學生身上,我看到一種很不可思議的共通點,那就是切割。和本該不可割捨的過去切割,往昔世界工業發展的歷史和我沒有關係,二十多年前香港發生過的事情也和我沒有關係。和不可能不與之相互影響的「外部」切割,全球其餘兩百多個國家和我沒有關係,中國再怎麼樣也和我沒有關係。和我們「內部」其他人切割,凡是與我看法不一致的大企業都不能代表「真正美國人」的利益,凡是與我觀點不相通的社運組織也都不能算是站在「真正香港人」這一邊。於是那最純粹、最本真的「美國人」或「香港人」,就是經過一連串的切割之後,既沒有過去,也顧不到將來;既不與遠親為伍,復不認近鄰為友的,蒼白的、懸峙的、原子化的我了。在我看來,這就是今日右翼民粹論述的一個邏輯特點。

不過若是繼續追問下去,想要發掘更多課本所不傳的史實的話,那就會犯上「歷史虛無主義」的罪了,是妄圖以歷史否定中國共產黨領導地位合法性的重大錯誤。但只要你不問不說,假裝發生過的事沒有發生過,假裝仍然活着的兇手與受害者皆不存在,歷史就不虛無了。你的歷史觀不虛無,你就安全了,你就可以好好地活着了。所以每當香港媒體問到在港內地學生關於「六四」的事,都一定有人會答:「那是歷史上的事,和我今天的生活沒有多大關係」。
china  hongkong  chinese  identity  government  democracy  cause  local  youth  opinion  comparison  conflict  today  crisis  history  killing  communism  64  idealism  politics 
june 2017 by aries1988
Stuck on one idea of truth or beauty? Rhizomes can help | Aeon Ideas
Why did they invent such strange philosophical concepts as rhizomes? One reason is to help us appreciate the singularity of each thing as well as each thing’s myriad connections to other things. This vision of an interconnected world of singularities, in turn, can change how we act in the world.

According to Nietzsche, the task of modern philosophy is to overturn Platonism, to stop looking for eternal blueprints of how things should be, and instead value this world of difference and becoming. Taking up this assignment, Deleuze and Guattari propose that we think in terms of ‘rhizomes’. A rhizome is a plant such as a potato, couch grass or bamboo. Rhizomes do not have seeds or trunks; rather, they shoot out stems and reproduce when a part breaks off and grows again, each one slightly different from its predecessor. A Thousand Plateaus helps us see the distinctiveness and connectivity of multiple things that compose reality. ‘A rhizome,’ they wrote, ‘ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organisations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.’ The concept of the rhizome helps us to view our lives as assemblages of words, institutions, songs, medicines, social movements, and countless other things that are related but also distinct.
concept  politics  culture  identity  academia  language  people 
may 2017 by aries1988
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Siege of Vienna
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 1683 siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Army.
podcast  europe  history  turkey  christendom  identity  war 
february 2017 by aries1988
Au Québec, les dangers de « l’insécurité culturelle »
L’attaque contre la mosquée de Québec est l’une des plus graves à s’être produites dans le monde occidental. La province est contrainte à l’examen de conscience.
quebec  reportage  community  muslim  canada  history  politics  identity 
february 2017 by aries1988
The People Who Pass

Outside the Gare du Nord, there are people streaming from the Eurostar, tourists looking for a week’s pleasure, mingled with travellers recently arrived from Bulgaria and Romania, looking for a job or a new life. The kinds cross, with the French, permanently frowning and suspicious, among them, and the tension rises.

the usual conviction of the French police that the human comedy as it unfolds is so absorbing that to intervene and impose artificial order upon it would be inartistic.

The thieves, and their invisible directors, are perceived by the French public as exclusively Roma—what English speakers often call Gypsies, the nomadic people long idealized as romantic and, for just as long, pursued as petty criminals.

We are manifold and must be respected as individuals—and we are completely different from the rest of you, with our own culture and history, giving us a collective identity that allows us to belong to the larger world of nations, just as you do. It’s our being completely different from the rest of you that makes us like the rest of you.

If Hamidovic was the face of the predatory Roma, Leonarda was the face of their persecution.

The majority should return to their countries. . . . Our role is not to welcome all the world’s misery.

Valls’s words—widely taken both as a testament of no-nonsense enforcement and as a bid for eventual power as Prime Minister or even President

an exasperated account of how the old Republican idea of French identity, open to all through education but still very specific in its style (high-minded) and values (meritocratic to the max), has been demoralized by a slack and hasty pluralism.

They insist, with Finkielkraut, that this angelism is part of a larger, enforced cult of the Other, a compulsory act of celebrating difference that is undermining the French state, so that the defenders of little Leonarda insist on embracing the Other, even as the Other picks their pockets.

In a matter of years, representations of the tsiganes have shifted away from musical talents, bohème, and free spirit to a portrayal of Roma otherness. It is our decision to see kinds that makes us sort kinds.

My daughter, when she was ten, said to her friend, ‘I’d like to eat your belly!’ I was called into the school—the principal was shocked! Perhaps my daughter needed to see a psychiatrist.

On one subject, Carmona is categorical. France is the worst place for Roma to be born. It suffers from centuries of ‘Enlightenment,’ the many centuries that created this Jacobin so-called ‘universalist’ frame without any regard to subjugated knowledge or subjugated peoples. In France, ethnic minorities are not even recognized—there’s a process of negation of identity that leads to the absurd category of ‘gens du voyage.’

If an unashamed, de-complexed agenda of national order and national security is not made plausible, the argument goes, the middle classes will continue their flight to the far right.

Le Pen can be declawed, he thinks, only if mainstream politicians can learn to speak truths that seem obvious to the stressed middle class.

The big problem in France is one of authority. Where is the authority in France? There is no authority in France now. François Hollande is no authority. In the family, where is the authority? In school, where is the authority? The ‘regal’ state of France has become nonexistent.

This is the problem of integration. What you can say twenty years ago, you can’t say it now. It is this question of bien-pensants, of angelism, and the right wing and the left wing are together responsible.

Mobility, rootlessness, nomadism—these are the facts of the new Europe. We must read Victor Hugo. The happy face of nomadism is all the French gone to London to be bankers. The wretched face is the poor Roma in their camps. And, great surprise, the miserables of our time turn out to be poor immigrants in the cold who behave like poor immigrants in the cold. Behind it, beneath it, is the new fear of having no floor beneath one’s feet. Ordinary French people feel that a real fall is possible.
paris  france  immigrant  society  politics  debate  europe  history  identity  immigration  crime  culture  book  intelligentsia  rom 
february 2017 by aries1988
All-American (and much more besides)

Somebody might say they’re American, but that is not their sole identity. They probably belong to a family group, a regional, religious or linguistic group — and have a professional or class identity too.

precisely because people can shift their level of identity, identity does not need to be a binary thing; nor does it necessitate a sense of opposition.
opinion  identity 
february 2017 by aries1988
Why a part of my girls will be forever China
Notebook: Lucy has not let me forget Xiao Hong’s dog diner. Sometimes I took authenticity too far
children  identity  usa  chinese 
may 2016 by aries1988
Edge People
Undergraduates today can select from a swathe of identity studies: gender studies, women’s studies, Asian-Pacific-American studies, and dozens of others. The shortcoming of all these para-academic programs is not that they concentrate on a given ethnic or geographical minority; it is that they encourage members of that minority to study themselves—thereby simultaneously negating the goals of a liberal education and reinforcing the sectarian and ghetto mentalities they purport to undermine. All too frequently, such programs are job-creation schemes for their incumbents, and outside interest is actively discouraged. Blacks study blacks, gays study gays, and so forth.

I prefer the edge: the place where countries, communities, allegiances, affinities, and roots bump uncomfortably up against one another—where cosmopolitanism is not so much an identity as the normal condition of life.

If identification with a community of origin was fundamental to my sense of self, I would perhaps hesitate before criticizing Israel—the Jewish State, my people—so roundly. Intellectuals with a more developed sense of organic affiliation instinctively self-censor: they think twice before washing dirty linen in public.
thinking  essay  identity  nation  intelligentsia 
may 2016 by aries1988
Unrest in Hong Kong: It’s not over | The Economist
Hong Kongers are already privileged citizens of China. Even so, among a generation of students unformed by British rule, grievances about ordinary things like housing and poor job prospects have created a yearning for democracy. How long before the youths of Beijing and Shanghai put forward demands of their own?
hongkong  crisis  identity  china 
december 2014 by aries1988
纽约时报中文网: 我是一个中国人吗?
她也提到,在中国的外国人杂志上可以看到专门招聘白人职员的广告。这样一来,公司可以让一张白人的面孔出现在公司网站上、让这个白人陪他们去开会,显得公司地位高。我有一位白人朋友从一个中国教育机构辞职,因为被录用之后,他才发现自己大部分的工作不是管理,而是一个“performing monkey”(被耍的猴子)。
不仅是工作,就连娱乐放松时,这张华人的面孔也给我们带来过不愉快的经历。一个来自美国华盛顿的华裔何志荣告诉我,某天晚上跟几个白人朋友到三里屯MIX夜店玩的时候,他成了唯一需要买门票的人。
chinese  identity  pilgrim 
september 2012 by aries1988

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