The Crisis of Culture: Identity Politics and the Empire of Norms (Hardback)Olivier Roy (author)
Are we confronting a new culture—global, online, individualistic? Or is our existing concept of culture in crisis, as explicit, normative systems replace implicit, social values?
Olivier Roy’s new book explains today’s fractures via the extension of individual political and sexual freedoms from the 1960s. For Roy, twentieth-century youth culture disconnected traditional political protest from class, region or ethnicity, fashioning an identity premised on repudiation rather than inheritance of shared history or values. Having spread across generations under neoliberalism and the internet, youth culture is now individualised, ersatz.
Without a shared culture, everything becomes an explicit code of how to speak and act, often online. Identities are now defined by socially fragmenting personal traits, creating affinity-based sub-cultures seeking safe spaces: universities for the left, gated communities and hard borders for the right.
Increased left- and right-wing references to ‘identity’ fail to confront this deeper crisis of culture and community. Our only option, Roy argues, is to restore social bonds at the grassroots or citizenship level.
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Number of pages: 232
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
‘This is by far the best analysis I have read of the culture wars and identity politics that besets our time.’ - Faisal Devji, Professor of Indian History, University of Oxford
'Our world is flattened, says Olivier Roy. Linguistic diversity is replaced by Basic English; expression by emoticons; culture (in both the high and the anthropological senses) by identity-markers. Roy draws on his long experience in both academia and public life, but with a captivatingly youthful verve and provocativeness.' - Jonathan Benthall, Director, Royal Anthropological Institute (1974-2000), Founding Editor, 'Anthropology Today'
'Olivier Roy has long been one of the world’s most creative thinkers on religion. It’s a delight to see his mind at work on the broader issue of the culture wars.' - Thomas Hegghammer (PhD), Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford
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