Identity politics: The struggle for recognition or hegemony?


EAST EUROPEAN POLITICS AND SOCIETIES, vol.21, no.4, pp.704-725, 2007 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0888325407306989
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.704-725
  • Keywords: civil society, identity politics, Islamism, new social movements, republic, SOCIAL-MOVEMENTS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: No


This article aims to answer the question whether identity-based movements are free from economic interests. By analyzing the actions and orientations of the Islamists in Turkey, I show that new social movements based on cultural identities are far from representing the demands of groups for recognition. Rather, these movements aim at establishing hegemony by controlling the intellectual life of society by cultural means. It is insisted that we need a Gramscian view of culture in order to understand the so-called identity politics. Identity-based movements do not refer to the end of social classes, but to the emergence of a new middle class. And against the advocating perspectives on identity politics, I argue that the possible solution to the question of fragmentation could be found in the idea of republic that does not prioritize any culture but seeks a central element that makes it meaningful to talk about such a collective arrangement as society.