For the past several decades, American society, culture, and politics has been inundated with attention paid to various social identities, typically involving race, gender, or ethnicity. Happily, this attention has benefitted groups of people who have historically been neglected or disadvantaged. Unfortunately, it has distorted our political and social lives–Exhibit A, identity politics–by distracting us from what we have in common and from concern for our collective flourishing. Plausibly, a fixation on social identities may also have the individual-level effect of leading people to adopt narrow self-concepts dominated by such identities. This D-Squared event will use a discussion of the human self, self-concept, and identity to inform reflection on the way social identities are shaping American society and politics. Our discussion will draw heavily on the work of political theorist Francis Fukuyama, whose book “Identity” was featured in a recent session of the Think! Book Club.
D-Squared (Discussion and Debate) is a bi-monthly online gathering sponsored by HumanistsMN and hosted by Jerry Smith. This month’s discussion will take place in the live Saturday (D-Cubed) and on-line D-Squared (No dinner!) sessions. The same topics will be covered in each session and the discussions should be quite similar.
To promote a thoughtful, informed discussion, we recommend that participants read/view some or all of the following in preparing for the event:
If you haven’t read Fukuyama’s book, it was nicely summarized in his YouTube video. A conservative take on identity politics comes from the Heritage Foundation. Finally, this article, written by Mark Lilla and published in the New York Times shortly after the 2016 election, expresses how many moderate-left liberals feel about identity politics.
This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted! Join or donate at https://humanistsmn.org/