Social Indentity

Colin McGinn poses a fair question: if Obama is half white why is he considered black? Colin is of course making the point that essentialism in these issues is not sustainable and this is reflected in the variety of very good responses to his question, perspectives that bring in fine-grained distinctions that would have never occured to me in addressing Colin’s question. There is clearly more to social identity than one might think. Perhaps the most vexing of social identities are the black African Jews – the leading light in this fascinating field is Tudor Parfitt.