The Hand that Writes Community in Blood

Rosalyn Diprose


I propose this account of community formation, which finds bodies, ungraspable difference and the expression of meaning inextricably linked, in order to address a neglect of the sociality of the body in current models of community. That neglect, I submit, explains why some models of community, while keen to promote multiculturalism and tolerance of difference, can tend toward the opposite. This is true of communitarianism and related models that would base community on the commonality of meaning and unity of identity. Against the emphasis on individualism in liberal political theory, communitarians understand community to be built through shared practices, dialogue, common social meanings and traditions, and on the interrelation, mutual recognition, and knowledge of the other as derived from a Hegelian notion of identity formation.


Asylum seekers; Afhganis; Australia; community; identity

Full Text: