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(Be)Longing Media: Minority Radio between Cultural Retention and Renewal
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Much of the recent theorizing in support of the fluidity of culture remains largely muffled by a debilitating bi-polar logic that allows identities to evolve only in distinct, oppositional directions. Such logic is reminiscent of political conceptions of culture in everyday discourse, which are notoriously known for excluding any possibility of mediation and reconciliation between different cultures. Huntington’s much cited article: “The Clash of Civilizations” is a leading example of this discourse. In his view, current world conflicts are indicative of his thesis that cultures are primordial and that differences between them are simply unbridgeable (1997). What is most interesting about Huntington’s argument is that people are not responsible for this clash of civilizations. The clash here is posited as a passive process because cultures are endemically different and irreconcilable. Although Huntington’s sweeping suggestions have come under heavy attack since the publication of his article in Foreign Affairs, much of his assumptions have been projected onto migrants and diasporic communities who, following the logic of innate cultural conflicts, are only capable of reproducing their cultures of origin in their imaginary fixed state. This explains the current phobia raging in European public opinion about the virulent effects of building mosques, temples, minority cultural associations, and erecting parabolic antennas to watch television from home. Clearly, hyphenated identities: French-North African, British-Asian, German-Iranian, or German-Turk, or else European-Muslim highlight not the fluidity of such identities, but only their ‘natural’ inclination toward collective attachment. The hyphen, instead of serving a connecting function that describes the emergence of hybrid identities, becomes just another form of

Authors: Echchaibi, Nabil.
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Much of the recent theorizing in support of the fluidity of culture remains largely
muffled by a debilitating bi-polar logic that allows identities to evolve only in distinct,
oppositional directions. Such logic is reminiscent of political conceptions of culture in
everyday discourse, which are notoriously known for excluding any possibility of
mediation and reconciliation between different cultures. Huntington’s much cited article:
“The Clash of Civilizations” is a leading example of this discourse. In his view, current
world conflicts are indicative of his thesis that cultures are primordial and that differences
between them are simply unbridgeable (1997). What is most interesting about
Huntington’s argument is that people are not responsible for this clash of civilizations.
The clash here is posited as a passive process because cultures are endemically different
and irreconcilable.
Although Huntington’s sweeping suggestions have come under heavy attack since
the publication of his article in Foreign Affairs, much of his assumptions have been
projected onto migrants and diasporic communities who, following the logic of innate
cultural conflicts, are only capable of reproducing their cultures of origin in their
imaginary fixed state. This explains the current phobia raging in European public opinion
about the virulent effects of building mosques, temples, minority cultural associations,
and erecting parabolic antennas to watch television from home. Clearly, hyphenated
identities: French-North African, British-Asian, German-Iranian, or German-Turk, or else
European-Muslim highlight not the fluidity of such identities, but only their ‘natural’
inclination toward collective attachment. The hyphen, instead of serving a connecting
function that describes the emergence of hybrid identities, becomes just another form of


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