[URBANTH-L]AAA Call for Papers: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Kathleen A. Costello kacostel at indiana.edu
Wed Mar 7 21:04:48 EST 2007

Proposed Panel
106th Annual Meeting
American Anthropological Association
Washington, DC
November 28 ­ December 2, 2007

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Rigidity, Fluidity, and Strategy in
State-Minority Relations

Anthropologists have long acknowledged that ³cultures² constitute their own
existence through their internal and external tensions just as frequently as
they do through their adherence to commonly defined goals and values. In
the case of state-minority group relations, the fluid nature of ³cultures²
bumps up against rigid officially-sanctioned definitions of group identity.
The result is that minority groups in plural societies are caught between
the proverbial rock and hard place, with government definitions of minority
status on one side and community self-policing of culture and identity on
the other. What is often lost in these cases is the fluidity of community
relations as they are created, recreated, and contested in the course of
everyday life.

Under multicultural regimes which base the granting of rights and privileges
on specific determinations of "otherness" or "outsiderness," immigrants,
refugees, native peoples, and other marginalized groups are encouraged to
use difference as the vehicle for advancing claims and accessing resources.
This panel explores this interface between state and subaltern, and the
kinds of tensions that the rigidity of government apparatuses bring to
minority groups in these programs to validate cultural diversity. We contend
that while government diversity projects may be designed to secure
minority rights within the nation-state, state-made definitions of
difference often have unintended consequences that can constitute
coercive cultural interventions, suppressing internal difference and
foreclosing the possibility of cultural change and innovation.

We invite papers that address how national frameworks for gaining
recognition, rights, and resources affect the efforts of minority groups to
access justice and achieve equality. Possible areas for examination include
relations with government, other groups, and the larger society;
intra-community dynamics; varieties of identity expression and negotiation;
power and agency; and the meanings of citizen, minority, and human rights.

Please send individual paper proposals or other inquiries by Saturday, March
17, 2007, to:

Kathleen Costello
   kacostel at indiana.edu <mailto:kacostel at indiana.edu>
Pearl Chan
   pechan at indiana.edu <mailto:pechan at indiana.edu>

3919 Bushmill Dr.
Bloomington, IN

US Cell-- Main Phone: (651) 747-6033
UK Cell-- Still Active, Spring 2007: 07790132697

"Thats is what books are for, to travel the world without moving and inch."

-- The Namesake

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