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Recognition and the Other
Unformatted Document Text:  Recognition and the Other, p. 4 question posed by Sandel: "How might our political discourse engage rather than avoid the moral and religious convictions people bring to the public realm?" (1996, p. 7). Recognition is a cherished political and ethical value celebrated by a range of political theorists -- from the critical feminist perspective of Nancy Fraser to the communitarian perspective of Michael Walzer, to the peace studies scholar Johan Galtung who classifies "alienation" as a form of structural violence that negates what he calls the basic human needs for recognition and identity. Galtung’s examples include imposed socialization and internalization of culture through the prohibition and imposition of languages, and the creation of a "category of second class citizenship where the subjected group (not necessarily a "minority") is forced to express dominant culture and not its own, at least not in public space." (41) Walzer (1997) also distinguishes recognition (vis-à-vis tolerance, which he defines as peaceful co-existence among difference ) as a central political good. Leaving aside the implicit hierarchy involved in tolerance (toleration as an act of power by the powerful to the less powerful), Walzer distinguishes two forms of toleration -- individual assimilation and group recognition -- both of which, he argues, are mutually compatible and can be pursued simultaneously. As a communitarian, he thus values the recognition of group identity while also mitigating the strong claims of community with those of individuality. Fraser, who privileges justice as a political good, distinguishes between the politics of recognition and the politics of redistribution. Fraser describes the "mutual interferences" between recognition claims, which she claims promote group differentiation and redistribution claims, which promote group dedifferentiation. Fraser posits that the injustice suffered by "despised sexualities" is quintessentially a matter of recognition. "Homosexuals are subject to shaming, harassment, discrimination, and violence, while being denied legal rights and equal protections -- all fundamentally denials of recognition" (18). Leaving aside the many

Authors: Lipari, Lisbeth.
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Recognition and the Other, p. 4
question posed by Sandel: "How might our political discourse engage rather than avoid the moral
and religious convictions people bring to the public realm?" (1996, p. 7).
Recognition is a cherished political and ethical value celebrated by a range of political
theorists -- from the critical feminist perspective of Nancy Fraser to the communitarian
perspective of Michael Walzer, to the peace studies scholar Johan Galtung who classifies
"alienation" as a form of structural violence that negates what he calls the basic human needs for
recognition and identity. Galtung’s examples include imposed socialization and internalization of
culture through the prohibition and imposition of languages, and the creation of a "category of
second class citizenship where the subjected group (not necessarily a "minority") is forced to
express dominant culture and not its own, at least not in public space." (41) Walzer (1997) also
distinguishes recognition (vis-à-vis tolerance, which he defines as peaceful co-existence among
difference ) as a central political good. Leaving aside the implicit hierarchy involved in tolerance
(toleration as an act of power by the powerful to the less powerful), Walzer distinguishes two
forms of toleration -- individual assimilation and group recognition -- both of which, he argues,
are mutually compatible and can be pursued simultaneously. As a communitarian, he thus values
the recognition of group identity while also mitigating the strong claims of community with those
of individuality. Fraser, who privileges justice as a political good, distinguishes between the
politics of recognition and the politics of redistribution. Fraser describes the "mutual
interferences" between recognition claims, which she claims promote group differentiation and
redistribution claims, which promote group dedifferentiation. Fraser posits that the injustice
suffered by "despised sexualities" is quintessentially a matter of recognition. "Homosexuals are
subject to shaming, harassment, discrimination, and violence, while being denied legal rights and
equal protections -- all fundamentally denials of recognition" (18). Leaving aside the many


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