Conclusion Return from the Beyond

  • Michael Borgstrom
Part of the The Future of Minority Studies book series (FMS)


This book could not have been written even as little as a year ago. Following a historic election in which racial, sexual, and gender identities played an unprecedented role in shaping political and popular opinion, the United States has voted into office its first president of African American descent, and President Obama, in turn, has assembled one of the most diverse cabinets in the nation’s history. It would seem that we have finally arrived at a point in American culture in which social identity has little or no bearing on public success—at a point, that is, in which we have indeed moved beyond race, sexuality, and gender. And yet the fact that this election has been hailed as a watershed moment in our nation’s history rests, ironically, on an acknowledgment of the social salience of identity categories themselves. We recognize this moment’s cultural importance, in other words, precisely because it demonstrates not only that identities exist but also that they have real, tangible social effects.


Identity Category Public Success Radical Skepticism Analytical Paradigm Minority Report 
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    Satya P. Mohanty, Literary Theoryandthe Claimsof’History: Postmodernism, Objectivity, Multicultural Politics (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1997), 205–06.Google Scholar
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    Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights (New York: Random House, 2006), ix.Google Scholar

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© Michael Borgstrom 2010

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  • Michael Borgstrom

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