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On UniversalsConstructing and Deconstructing Community$
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Etienne Balibar

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823288564

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823288564.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Racism, Sexism, Universalism

Racism, Sexism, Universalism

A Reply to Joan Scott and Judith Butler

(p.1) 1 Racism, Sexism, Universalism
(p.iii) On Universals

Étienne Balibar

, Joshua David Jordan
Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses a hypothesis advanced several years ago by the author and that seems particularly imperiled by the interpretive ambiguities surrounding the idea of universality. This hypothesis concerned the paradoxical relationship between racism and universalism in the modern era. The chapter explains why one should assign central importance to the institution when examining the paradoxical relationship between racist or sexist discrimination and universalist discourse. It then posits a concept of “anthropological difference” that should help to distinguish between several uses of the—inextricably metaphysical and political—notions of identity, human essence or nature, norms, and normativity. Finally, the chapter considers what constitutes the apparently ineluctable paradox underlying the relationship between the politics of emancipation and the political community.

Keywords:   universality, racism, universalism, institution, racist discrimination, sexism, sexist discrimination, identity, human essence, normativity

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