Emma Gilland at The Equiano Project considers the difference between a strong sense of self-identity and the political and ethical shallowness of identity-as-a-label. She suggests identity politics speaks to a vacuum created through a combination of two important trends: the demise of class-based voting, and the inability of the established political class to fill this vacuum with better, more democratic and humanistic politics:
However, identity politics could be used as a way to unite opinion and create change. Many of the biggest political changes such as the Suffragettes, the Civil Rights Movement, the Brixton Riots and the UK miners’ strikes of the 1980s consolidated a unified sense of self which drove their movement through common ambition and shared identity. Without this, they would have been lost in breadth, making their movements unsettled without a clear agenda. The difference now is that this growth of identity politics is not coming with a sense of self, but rather, identity politics has become a label.