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Honneth, Butler and the Ambivalent Effects of Recognition / Paddy McQueen

Res Publica, Volume: 21, Issue: 1, Pages: 43 - 60

Swansea University Author: McQueen, Paddy

Abstract

This paper examines the ambivalent effects of recognition by critically examining Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition. I argue that his underlying perfectionist account and his focus on the psychic effects of recognition cause him to misrepresent or overlook significant connections between recognit...

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Published in: Res Publica
ISSN: 1356-4765 1572-8692
Published: 2015
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa48269
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Abstract: This paper examines the ambivalent effects of recognition by critically examining Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition. I argue that his underlying perfectionist account and his focus on the psychic effects of recognition cause him to misrepresent or overlook significant connections between recognition and power. These claims are substantiated by (1) drawing from Butler’s theory of gender performativity, power and recognition; and (2) exploring issues arising from the socio-institutional recognition of trans identities. I conclude by suggesting that certain problems with Butler’s own position can corrected by drawing more from the Foucauldian aspects of her work. I claim that this is the most promising way to conceptualise recognition and its complex, ambivalent effects.
Keywords: Butler; Foucault; Gender; Identity; Honneth; Power; Recognition
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 43
End Page: 60