Identity and Violence – Amartya Sen


One could not ask for a more articulate, detailed and supremely intellectual analysis of the relation between identity and the problem of violence erupting in the society. He finds out that the problem lies in imposing a narrow outlook on a person’s identity and making sweeping generalizations based on that for a whole group which might otherwise be a complex set of infinitely diverse identities.He also argues the merits of multiculturalism and the demerits of plural monoculturalism. What emerges out is that the identity perception of an individual by himself and by others plays a very major role in the social, political and economic situations and that if we are ever to solve the problems of religious/civilizational clashes we will have to do a deep analysis of identifying identities.

This book is engaging, witty, analytical and intellectual.  One feels highly enriched after reading it. Such a powerful presentation of wonderful ideas is exactly what is expected of a scholar like Amartya Sen. This is a must read for all those who wish to think and engage in problems of society.

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