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What do A”recognitionA” and identity approaches bring to our understanding of social justice? Discuss how a recognition approach might see the major problems of social justice in a contemporary multicultural society and the type of remedies it would advocate.

A definition of social justice is provided by David Miller in Principles of Social Justice: how the good and bad things in life should be distributed among the members of a human society (p.1). This conceptualises social justice firmly within the distributive paradigm. Although during the last 30 years, there has been a major change in the nature and aims of political struggles in the industrialised world.Today, however, we increasingly encounter a second type of social-justice claim in the “politics of recognition.” The usual approach is to view recognition through the lens of identity. From this perspective, what requires recognition is group-specific cultural identity ( Fraser 1997: 35).Here the goal, in its most plausible form, is a difference-friendly world, where assimilation to majority or dominant cultural norms is no longer the price of equal respect. Examples include claims for the recognition of the distinctive perspectives of ethnic, “racial,” and sexual minorities, as well as of gender difference. This type of claim has recently attracted the interest of political philosophers, moreover, some of whom are seeking to develop a new paradigm of justice that puts recognition at its center.

The multiculturalist claim of justice, namely, that there is more to social justice than fair distribution and equal chances for individuals, is the central thought of the philosophical perspective of the politics of recognition and constitutes a common ground for a range of approaches that are otherwise rather diverse. Drawing on an array of well-established theories, the politics of recognition differ in their attitude towards liberal notions of justice. .A prominent philosopher Iris Marion Young in her most influential work, Justice and the Politics of Difference, challenges the reduction of social justice to the distributive paradigm. She does not reject that paradigm outright but she argues for its de- centering so that domination and oppression i.e. the institutional constraints on self-determination and self-development (p. 37) rather than distribution are taken as the starting point for a conception of social justice in contemporary mulicultural society (p. 16).Whereas Charles Taylors work on “the politics of recognition” (1994) argues that the lack of political recognition of ethno-cultural minority identities represents the core problem for minorities and social injustice.On the ther hand, Fraser argues that problems of distribution cannot be subsumed within a recognition paradigm; nor can the distributive paradigm subsume problems of recognition. Instead, she develops what she calls a “two-dimensional” conception of justice [which] treats distribution and recognition as distinct perspectives on, and dimensions justicewithin a broader overarching framework (2003, p. 35). Instead she claims we should concentrate our efforts on searching for an alternative framework that can accommodate both types of demands.

Iris Marion Young argumnet focuses on the allocation of material goods diverts attention from the social structure and institutional context that often help to determine distributive patterns in particular decision-making power and procedures, division of labour, and culture (1990:15). Second, that if the distributive paradigm is metaphorically extended to nonmaterial social goods, such as recognition and respect, it misrepresents them as though they were static things, instead of a function of social relations and processes (1990:16). In treating them as possessions and focusing on outcomes and patterns of possession, it loses sight of social and power relations and the cultural meanings in which they are embedded.

Charles Taylor, explains the link with identity a persons understanding of who they are, of their fundamental defining characteristics as a human being. Taylor approach to social justice focuses on cultures and cultural communities and draws on the thought that cultures are of value. From this point of view equality for members of cultural communities is not merely a formal requirement or a set of standardised measures, but can only be properly realised by understanding other cultures. Taylor argues that there is no logical reason for one culiture to be more superiour or inferiour to another culture.Therefore it seems that the notion of equal value and worth of cultures is a suitable basis for the politics of recognition, considering that it is a normative theory concerned with culturally disadvantaged and oppressed persons and groups. Although when used as an argument for the importance of cultural belonging for social justice, the matter turns out to be more complicated than that.His thesis is that our identity is partly shaped by recognition or its absence, often by the misrecognition of others, and so a person or group of people can suffer real damage, real distortion, if the people or society around them mirror back to them a confining or demeaning or contemptible picture of themselves (1992: 25). This means that recognition is a vital human need (p 26).


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Understanding Of Social Justice And Recognition Approach. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/understanding-of-social-justice-and-recognition-approach-essay/