chapter  3
29 Pages

Recognition and power

WithDes Delaney

This chapter examines Axel Honneth’s recognition theory, which frames the empirical aspects of this research. It begins by critiquing Charles Taylor’s recognition model, enabling a justification for utilising Honneth’s structured multidimensional typology of recognition. Honneth’s theoretical insights on recognition are then outlined in detail, particularly its advantages, development over time and tripartite structure, which provides a deeper understanding of the interconnected forms of recognition, relation-to-self and disrespect manifesting in the spheres of love, legal respect and social esteem. Lastly, this chapter explores the varying criticisms directed towards Honneth’s work and pinpoints the ongoing and unresolved concerns in relation to his understanding of power. This is carried out by referring to Petherbridge’s critique of Honneth’s theoretical development, by comparing Honneth’s view of power to more nuanced understandings presented in the works of Foucault and Allen, and by discussing McBride’s focus on how recognition relates to authority and social norms. This constructive critique provides the room necessary to identify more complex power formations such as top-down domineering and constitutive power as well as bottom-up individual and collective resistive power. This holistic understanding of power more accurately reflects the realities of everyday Muslim experience in a post-traditional Europe.