Explores the three nodal points of Balibar's analysis of race and racism: 1) The relation between race and racism, on the one hand, and nation and nationalism, on the other, both grounded in what Balibar calls “fictive identity.” 2) The relation between race and racism and the theory and practice of universalism, the definition of the human through the identification/production of anthropological differences, and the tendency of equality (a notion central to any universalism) to become confused with similitude and likeness. 3) The process by which the foreigner becomes the stranger, who will in turn become the enemy, and the essentialization of language and culture and its relation to the production of the inassimilable and incompatible that underlie many of the contemporary forms of racism.
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