Types of Identity

Paul Gilbert

in Cultural Identity and Political Ethics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748623877
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671991 | DOI:
Types of Identity

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David Miller's distinguishes two quite different accounts of nationalism in Isaiah Berlin's work: one ascribing it to ‘the crooked timber of humanity’, the other to the ‘bent twig, which always jumped back and hit its bender’. Having rejected the former account in the previous chapter, this one explores the potential of the second for explaining cultural identity more generally. It argues that cultural identities are very diverse, and should be classified in terms of the various different circumstances in which they arise, not in terms of their content in terms of values, language or history. Seven types of cultural identity are described: identity as standing, as centre, as face, as affiliation, as home, as mission and as mere label; and common errors in assimilating these are noted.

Keywords: Affiliation; Berlin; Centre; Face; Herder; Home; Identity; Miller; Mission; Standing

Chapter.  9811 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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