Conflicted Identity as Commonality in America

Andrew Sullivan’s cover piece "The Case for Barack Obama" in the latest Atlantic contained these interesting sentences:

To be black and white, to have belonged to a nonreligious home and a Christian church, to have attended a majority-Muslim school in Indonesia and a black church in urban Chicago, to be more than one thing and sometimes not fully anything—this is an increasingly common experience for Americans, including many racial minorities. Obama expresses such a conflicted but resilient identity before he even utters a word. And this complexity, with its internal tensions, contradictions, and moods, may increasingly be the main thing all Americans have in common.

Could be. A "mongrel" sense of self as the predominant form of identity is a case G. Pascal Zachary makes forcefully in The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge. I finished it yesterday and recommend the book to anyone interested in globalization, cosmopolitanism, and hybrid identities.

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