‘Culturaldifference’, citizenship and
young people: intellectual responses
While it may be exaggerated to argue that young people of North African
origin are simply ‘the products’ of the political and intellectual climate
of the last thirty years, their attitudes will nevertheless have been
informed by the ambient political and intellectual discourses, their
representations and their polemics. In terms of intellectual discourse,
we can distinguish three main areas of academic debate concerning North
African immigration in contemporary France
One of the dominant impressions given by the sculpture of Anish Kapoor is of haunting. In and around the definite presences, the manifest shining, brightly coloured forms, lie a series of baffling absences; the shades of presences that are in excess of the work, or the shadows of meanings not yet grasped. Perhaps this is most evident in the work that announces its haunting in its title, the spectral sculpture Ghost (1997), in which a sliver of light, caught dancing in the polished interior of a rugged block of Kilkenny limestone, becomes not only the `presence‘ that occupies the work but also a symbol of all that it is unable to embody and leaves hovering about its fringes and borders. This Ghost is Kapoor‘s haunted house sculpture; a sculpture in which the mysterious agency that unnerves the viewer is both the most significant occupant of its limestone mansion and, paradoxically, its most insignificant, or unsignifiable omission.
Poe‘s Anti-Representational Invocations of the Near East
Poe‘s poetry and fiction are full of cultural and religious references to the Near East. This essay suggests that Poe‘s invocations of the Near East are part of a deliberately anti-representational strategy for dealing with cultural difference that constitutes part of Poe‘s understanding of one of his most central concepts, the ‘arabesque’. This anti-representational strategy is built on Poe‘s sympathetic reading of texts associated with the Near East, Islam, and Arab and Persian cultures.
The Irish mind has enabled the Irish to balance and accommodate imagination and intellect, emotion and reason, poetry and science. The notion of cultural difference is not just an Irish story, but a story of nations and ethnic groups all over the world. The story of modernity revolves around people coming to see and understand themselves as belonging to nations. Although there were other European nations that made Catholicism a keystone of national difference, there were many factors that made the Irish project different. The idea of creating a society that had a collective vision and commitment without being socialist became an ideal of the Catholic Church during the latter half of the twentieth century. The Church did, nevertheless, have a profound influence on Irish society and culture. The extent to which the Catholic Church shaped and influenced Irish politics has been the subject of much research and debate. The power of the Catholic Church in politics stemmed from the power it developed in the modernisation of Irish society and, in particular, the controlling of sexuality, marriage and fertility. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Irish developed a particular aversion to marriage. For many nations and ethnic groups, what binds people together is that they speak the same language. It may well be that for generations many Irish people identified the Irish language, music and sport as an inhibitor in embracing a less insular and more urbane, cosmopolitan disposition.
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Searching for and explaining difference
There is always a danger in studying Ireland that, instead of questioning the stories
and myths about Irish culturaldifference, we end up reproducing them. In the
absence of appropriate theoretical frameworks that help shine a light on where to
look for difference and, at the same time, the absence of rigorous methods that
enable the gathering of empirical data, those of us involved in Irish studies may
perpetuate the very differences
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There was a moment during the European Soccer Championships in 2012 when it
seemed that Irish culturaldifference was, once again, being firmly etched into the
annals of global culture. Although their team had been heavily defeated by Spain,
and eliminated from the competition without having won one of its matches,
supporters of the team who had travelled in their thousands across Europe, instead
of perhaps booing the team from the pitch, cheered and clapped them
is one where
all ethnic groups feel integrated and included. In other words, although
culturaldifferences should be tolerated and protected, it is desirable for all
groups to integrate into mainstream British culture. This image is very much
how traditional Jewish communities in Britain have dealt with the problem.
Ouseley was also suggesting that the reason why youths from ethnic
minorities (mainly Muslim in the case of the 2001 riots) were so disaffected
was that they felt alienated from British society. It was not so much that they
STOP and THINK
Postcolonial criticism draws attention to issues of culturaldifference in literary texts and is one of several critical approaches we have considered which focus on specific issues, including issues of gender (feminist criticism), of class (Marxist criticism), and of sexual orientation (queer theory).
This raises the possibility of a kind of ‘super-reader’ able to respond equally and adequately to a text in all these ways. In practice, for most readers one of these issues tends to eclipse all the rest.
For instance, the
authorities were also worried
about the lack of information relating to the refugees’ backgrounds, and
were particularly concerned with the activities of a ‘small number of
troublesome elements’. The Prefect mobilised culturaldifference to
justify discrimination. Despite the fleeting references to the refugees’
the onset of exile
adaptation to life in France, the official stressed they had ‘a very different
mentality from ours, belonging for the most part to a quite low level of
the social ladder’. These cultural and class traits, he believed, explained
influence, did not override social or culturaldifferences, but did engender a degree of stability and continuity at
times of profound political change. Travel writings were less coherent.
They drew contradictorily and differentially upon longer traditions to
produce epistemologically insecure visions of both metropolis and
colony. Overarching both genres – and arguably the field of
knowledge production as