By P. McQueen
During this publication Paddy McQueen examines the function that 'recognition' performs in our struggles to build an identification and to make experience of ourselves as gendered beings. It analyses how such struggles for gender popularity are formed through social discourses and tool family, and considers how feminism can most sensible reply to those matters.
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Additional resources for Subjectivity, Gender and the Struggle for Recognition
The central feature of the deficit model of recognition is that it approaches issues of injustice or oppression as stemming from a lack, absence or distorted form of recognition. Consequently, the solution to such issues lies in either: (a) expanding or adjusting current patterns of recognition, or (b) instantiating forms of recognition where they were previously withheld. Social problems do not stem from the mechanics of recognition itself, but rather from problematic forms of recognition. Thus, the solution to problems of recognition is identified as improved forms of recognition (in other words, more recognition to replace the existing, problematic recognition).
For example, in describing the modern view of how we create a sense of ‘full being’, he notes that, rather than connecting with some source outside of ourselves (such as God or the Platonic Good), ‘the source we have to connect with is deep within us. This fact is part of the massive subjective turn of modern culture, a new form of inwardness, in which we come to think of ourselves as beings with hidden depths’ (Taylor, 1994: 29). Taylor proceeds to note that authenticity ‘calls on me to discover my own original way of being.
16 However, Honneth still must establish – and it is not at all clear that he satisfactorily does – that (a) recognition needs are the fundamental guiding principle of human development and psychological health, and (b) that the desire for selfrealisation secured through recognition is essential to humans. Without these points, it is hard to see how Honneth can install the conditions of self-realisation as the normative telos of all forms of social development. Even if one grants Honneth the possibility that human nature is such that it has a set of fundamental recognition needs and expectations which, when met, ensure self-realisation, he must also justify why this should determine the normative telos of social development and hence dictate the structural and institutional arrangements of any given society.
Subjectivity, Gender and the Struggle for Recognition by P. McQueen