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RETHINKING IDENTITY

Essay of critical sociology on the identity fact

Rachid ID YASSINE

What about the identity? We talk about it so much and so badly that we do not even bother to know 'what it is'! The term works as a suitcase, it crams everything that it is unable to explain or that, for reasons of convenience or more often of dishonesty, we do not wish to know or maybe only indirectly. This term is ideologically charged and politically connotated to such an extent that many scientists have striped it of their vocabulary. This essay presents itself as an overview of the question in a critical and innovative perspective. It does not simply revisit knowledge on 'what is identity', but is also proposing to rethink this phenomenon in the light of our historical conditions. Through this questioning, it is about reconnecting or reconciling with this term that carries so many sneaky dangers, legitimate concerns and negative illusions. Indeed, identity is deadly as we would say. It can lead to the worst of crimes or, more simply, to ordinary mediocrities of racism and alterophobia. This book assumes optimistically a series of theoretical propositions could not only break with all essentialist reading of identity, but also to help better understand the reality that it covers.

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