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Accepted Paper:

Politics of creolisation and conviviality in unequal societies  

Author:

Magdalena Nowicka (DeZIM Institute)

Paper short abstract:

Could we develop 'politics of creolisation and conviviality' that guide the us into a truly post-modern future? I argue that such politics needs to engage with the promise of equality, and the reality of inequality to provide a true alternative to the exclusionary nationalism and xenophobia.

Paper long abstract:

Creolisation and conviviality are modes of being and of thinking. Could we develop 'politics of creolisation and conviviality' that link both, and guide the us into a truly post-modern future?

I argue that such politics needs to engage with the modern promise of equality and the reality of inequalities, if it is to provide a true alternative to the exclusionary nationalism and xenophobia.

I first look at three intersections of equality: with modernity (and democracy, liberalism, nationalism and pluralism), for it helps to address the 'we' of equality; with what I term 'modern conviviality' (and multiculturalism), for it focuses difference; and creolisation, for it points to multiple levels and scales of inequality.

Modern understandings of conviviality, alike multiculturalism, I argue, generates a quasi-equality in public spaces. But capacity to convivial behaviour is also unevenly distributed along the divisions of education, class and culture. Post-modern politics of conviviality needs thus to be more profound and rely on conviviality not as respect of difference but a deep interconnectedness.

We also need creolisation as a form of identity that rejects fixed boundaries and is largely indifferent to origins.

But both might fail if they fail to engage with equalities and inequalities. I deliberately use the plural form to stress the achievement of legal equality and prevalence of socio-economic and cultural inequalities. The prospects for radical change within western modern social order has been questioned by feminists and black scholars. This critique needs to be involved in the new politics of creolisation and conviviality.

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Creolisation and conviviality