File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2001/bourdieu.0107, message 36

Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 11:27:45 -0500
Subject: Bourdieu and Wacquant: French intellectuals and

Some may find this abstract from the on-line Chronicle of Higher Education 
(July 20, 2001) interesting.

Jerry Shepperd

A glance at the spring issue of "Black Renaissance/Renaissance
Noire": French intellectuals and multiculturalism

"The celebration of multiculturalism and the critique of
Eurocentrism are for us inseparable concepts," write Ella
Shohat, a professor of performing arts at the Graduate School
and University Center of the City University of New York, and
Robert Stam, a professor of cinema studies at New York
University. Multiculturalism, without the critique of
Eurocentrism, risks being a "shopping mall summa" of the world's
cultures, they write. Eurocentrism alone risks "inverting"
rather than "unsettling" the existing hierarchies. French
critics of multiculturalism such as Pierre Bourdieu and Loic
Wacquant are not sufficiently familiar with the "constellation
of discourses" that is multiculturalism, say the authors. The
assertion by Mr. Bourdieu and Mr. Wacquant that multiculturalism
is simply an "American discourse" is inaccurate, they argue. The
United States "is one of many arenas for the multicultural
debate; it is a multidirectional terminal in a network, not a
point of origin or final destination." They note that whereas
multiculturalism in the United States is seen as a challenge to
the "Anglo-Euro-hegemony," in France it represents for many
intellectuals "a radicalization of minority demands" that
threatens to tear at the national fabric. The assimilationist
model remains strong in France, and the concept of hyphenated
identities is seen as "threatening and divisive, even racist,"
write the authors. The article is not online, but more
information about the journal may be found at 


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