Constitution as a viable social subject is dependent on being recognized by others as such, whether that recognition takes the form of an ethical gesture, a political objective, or a legal instrument. The desire for recognition is therefore often assumed to be universal. For many activists and theorists, recognition of rights and identities has been at the heart of social justice movements, particularly since the 1980s. This is reflected, for example, in the ‘gay rights’ slogan, ‘recognize our relationships’. Yet, appeals to recognize what certain groups have in common tend to be made at the expense of more widely expanding the range of lives that might be acknowledged as possible and worthy of protection. Moreover, the identificatory categories through which rights claims can be made often fail to map onto the actual lived experiences of those they purport to describe, suggesting that becoming socially legible as part of a group can come at the expense of true recognition as an individual. In such ways and more, the demand for recognition is inherently intertwined with a dimension of conflict and often manifests as a struggle.
Organized by B Camminga, Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, Natascia Tosel
Call For Papers
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