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British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation$
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Lasse Thomassen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474422659

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422659.001.0001

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(Not) Just a Piece of Cloth: Recognition and Representation

(Not) Just a Piece of Cloth: Recognition and Representation

(p.90) 3 (Not) Just a Piece of Cloth: Recognition and Representation
British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation

Lasse Thomassen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter looks at the concept and practice of recognition so often associated with identity politics and multiculturalism. The chapter shows how recognition and representation are mutually implied. Representations must be recognised and taken up in order to have force; and recognition is always recognition of particular representations. I develop this through a detailed discussion of Begum, a legal case from the mid-2000s. The case is particularly useful because, while it concerns recognition and the limits of multiculturalism, the parties to the case all subscribe to the importance of recognition and multiculturalism. The chapter combines a close reading of the case and the debate about it with theoretical reflections on the literature on recognition, including the works of Charles Taylor, Elisabetta Galeotti and Patchen Markell.

Keywords:   Begum, identity politics, Islam, multiculturalism, recognition, representation

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