- Sexual democracy, cultural alterity and the politics of everyday life in Amsterdam
- Patterns of Prejudice
- Volume | Issue number
- 50 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Cultural and religious alterity, associated with postcolonial and labour migrants and their descendants, has become a matter of growing contention across Europe. Various scholars have discussed the situation in the Netherlands as exemplary of European anxieties about national cohesion and cultural homogeneity in which culturalized and racialized conceptions of the nation and its Others are central. Mepschen examines how these public discourses and politics are played out in the context of a pluri-ethnic, working-class neighbourhood in Amsterdam New West. Taking an ethnographic approach, he points to the ways in which ‘white’ Dutch citizens—imagined and construed as autochthonous, literally ‘born from the Earth itself’—come to recognize themselves in, identify with and appropriate the images and rhetorics that circulate within culturalist, autochthonic symbolic economies. Following up on his previous work, Mepschen focuses here on the role played by discourses surrounding sexual liberty and LGBTIQ rights in these dynamics. Continuing with an ethnographic approach, he foregrounds the complex interplay of religion, secularism and sexuality in the ‘making’ and ‘doing’ of autochthony in an everyday, local context, a complexity that is lost in much of the existing analyses of Dutch multiculturalism.
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