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Recognition and the politics of human(e) desire.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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  • Majid Yar
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Theory, Culture and Society
Issue number2-3
Volume18
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)57-76
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

In the course of the last 30 years, feminist theories of gender have shifted from quasi-Marxist, labor-centered conceptions to putatively ‘post-Marxist’ cultureand identity-based conceptions. Reflecting a broader political move from redistribution to recognition, this shift has been double edged. On the one hand, it has broadened feminist politics to encompass legitimate issues of representation, identity and difference. Yet, in the context of an ascendant neoliberalism, feminist struggles for recognition may be serving less to enrich struggles for redistribution than to displace the latter. Thus, instead of arriving at a broader, richer paradigm that could encompass both redistribution and recognition, feminists appear to have traded one truncated paradigm for another – a truncated economism for a truncated culturalism. This article aims to resist that trend. I propose an anaysis of gender that is broad enough to house the full range of feminist concerns, those central to the old socialistfeminism as well as those rooted in the cultural turn. I also propose a correspondingly broad conception of justice, capable of encompassing both distribution and recognition, and a non-identitarian account of recognition, capable of synergizing with redistribution. I conclude by examining some practical problems that arise when we try to envision institutional reforms that could redress gender maldistribution and gender misrecognition simultaneously.