Diversity and Community: An Interdisciplinary Reader by Philip Alperson

By Philip Alperson

Range and neighborhood: An Interdisciplinary Reader is a suite of essays exploring the thought of group in its many theoretical, sensible, and cultural manifestations. a set of in particular commissioned essays exploring the inspiration of neighborhood in its many theoretical, sensible, and cultural manifestations. Discusses the belief of group in its complete, cultural context. offers with matters confronting many varied teams, together with African American, Franco-Canadian, computer-mediated, and homosexual and lesbian groups. contains contributions by way of either eminent schlars and new voices, between them Martha Nussbaum, Jean Bethke Elsthain, D.A. Masolo, Mary Hawkesworth, Lewis Gordon, Maria Lugones, Crispin Sartwell, Duane Champagne, and Frank Cunningham.

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The Chinese man is represented as both woman (the courteous, “shy,” and “feminine” domestic) and man (the gambling, opium-smoking criminal). The Chinese woman is described both as both a “lily woman” and a “soiled” prostitute. The community of Chinatown itself is portrayed as clannish and inscrutable, except insofar as one detects, beneath the veneer of courtesy, a hellish maze of tunnels, a “network of deviance” and crime. In Gwen Kinkead’s description of New York’s Chinatown, written nearly a century later, the streets are crooked, the smells off-putting, and the community is characterized by an “oyster-like impenetrability” by the lights of which white people are dismissed as barbarians.

In “The Role of Art in Sustaining Communities,” Marcia Muelder Eaton asks whether the arts can reasonably be thought to sustain communities. As Eaton observes, there is a lot of loose talk on the subject, especially from arts advocates who, understandably enough, try to explain why artistic and cultural institutions, including arts education programs, should be defended and supported, especially in times of limited financial resources or when particular artists or institutions come under attack for what is perceived as vapid, malicious, cynical, immoral, pornographic, subversive, or otherwise harmful performances or works.

The essays by J. Blaine Hudson and Duane Champagne underscore the role that nationalism has played in the formation and nature of communities in the United States. Canada presents another, and an unusually rich, example of the intersection of cultural, constitutional, political, and national matters in the construction of communities. ” Central to the Canadian conundrum is the ongoing conflict between Canadian federalists and Quebec nationalists. In a 1995 referendum held in Quebec, the Parti Québecois (PQ) nearly won a mandate to begin sovereignty negotiations with the Canadian Federal government.

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