Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The difference sameness makes: Racial recognition and the 'narcissism of minor differences'

BRETT ST LOUIS
Ethnicities
Vol. 5, No. 3, SPECIAL ISSUE: THE PREDICAMENT OF DIFFERENCE (September 2005), pp. 343-364
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23889457
Page Count: 22
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($40.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Preview not available

Abstract

This article examines the form and effects of differentiation that surface within the artifice of racial sameness. Using contemporary debates between 'native-born' and 'foreign-born' blacks in the USA over the right to 'African American' identity and the socioeconomic threat posed to the former by the latter, I show how the operation of the logic of race internally within a racial group reiterates familiar effects of racialization. Drawing on Freud's notion of the 'narcissism of minor differences' as a framing device, I point out that this difference/sameness relation is not simply antagonistic through an analysis of the ambiguity of Africa as posing a socioeconomic threat in the migrants it sends while also presenting the historical and symbolic basis for African American claims to cultural distinctiveness. The article builds a critique of the invention of sameness that makes difference in two key ways: first, through the representation of difference as an antithesis that affirms the racialized self characterized by sameness; and second, that this makes a political difference in the sense that this dialectic of black as self and other reifies the social problematic of its sameness/difference relation as intrinsically (intra)racial to the extent that the substantive socioeconomic causality of racial stratification and racism are obscured.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[343]
    [343]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
348
    348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
349
    349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
350
    350
  • Thumbnail: Page 
351
    351
  • Thumbnail: Page 
352
    352
  • Thumbnail: Page 
353
    353
  • Thumbnail: Page 
354
    354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
356
    356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364