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Jean Elshtain Chp2 Democracy and the Politics of Displacement Response to Question 1 In the excerpted chapter titled Democracy and the Politics of Displacement Jean Elshtain discusses the concept of politics of identity In discussing the politics of identity Elshtain argues there is an emerging social phenomenon wherein society is turning the private affairs of our lives into public discourse The Western World has become a public pool in which the information mediums and venues of society are overflowing with confessions and apologies We have made the private affairs of our lives into a booming business Society has witnessed a proliferation of self - help groups twelve- step programs anger management programs television shows broadcasting a tell all theme and Internet chat groups designed for people to post the confession andor apology of the day Inherently it has not only become socially acceptable but socially encouraged to air our dirty laundry We are actively creating an Apologizing Society Elshtain argues that as the boundary separating the private and the public becomes increasingly hazed a new social identity emerges Elshtain argues that as this new social identity emerges there arises a politics of identityOur social identity is no longer composed of differentiated spheres of human activity but rather it has become a dichotomous social relationship involving those who are victims and those who are victimizers Moreover it is the quality or character of being a victim that becomes public discourse In turn this quality of being a victim becomes an individuals primary or dominant identity it defines their entire being Through the process of class discussion it was realized that as the quality of being a victim enters the public lime- light there emerges a social accumulation of victims and victimizers The social accumulation of victims emerges as a result of two factors 1 as the quality of being a victim becomes more public its definition and defining characteristics begin to broaden Thereby
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