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Thus identity politics rests on unifying claims about the meaning of politically laden experiences to diverse individuals.Sometimes the meaning attributed to a particular experience will diverge from that of its subject: thus, for example, the woman who struggles desperately to be attractive may think that she is simply trying to be a better person, rather than understanding her experience as part of the disciplining of female bodies in a patriarchal culture.Concern about this aspect of identity politics has crystallized around the transparency of experience to the oppressed, and the univocality of its interpretation.
Identity politics starts from analyses of oppression to recommend, variously, the reclaiming, redescription, or transformation of previously stigmatized accounts of group membership.
Thus for example Taiaiake Alfred, in his defense of a return to traditional indigenous values, argues that: Indigenous governance systems embody distinctive political values, radically different from those of the mainstream.
Western notions of domination (human and natural) are noticeably absent; in their place we find harmony, autonomy, and respect.
The laden phrase “identity politics” has come to signify a wide range of political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups.
Rather than organizing solely around belief systems, programmatic manifestos, or party affiliation, identity political formations typically aim to secure the political freedom of a specific constituency marginalized within its larger context.