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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2016

Andrew Buchwalter

An assessment of Axel Honneth’s reception and appropriation of Hegel’s theory of normative reconstruction as presented in his Freedom’s Right (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Abstract

Purpose

An assessment of Axel Honneth’s reception and appropriation of Hegel’s theory of normative reconstruction as presented in his Freedom’s Right (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Methodology/approach

A comparative assessment of Honneth’s and Hegel’s approach to normative reconstruction focusing on three basic issues: general methodology, understandings of the logic and program of the Philosophy of Right, and analyses and assessments of modern market societies as detailed in Hegel’s account of civil society (bürgerliche Gesellschaft).

Findings

For Honneth, normative reconstruction consists in reworking modes of social rationality already realized in modern institutions. By contrast, Hegel is shown to advance an approach to reconstruction in which an account of social rationality is properly fashioned only in the reconstruction process itself. In this way Hegel is also shown to proffer an approach to normative reconstruction that is at once more robustly reconstructive and more robustly normative than is the case with Honneth.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the ongoing value of Hegel’s thought for social and political theory. It illuminates Hegel’s uniquely dialectical approach to immanent social critique, dedicated not only to explicating existing tensions and “bifurcations” (Entzweiungen) but – with the help of a distinctive account of Bildung (cultivation or formation) – to engaging those tensions and bifurcations in order to delineate the conditions for their constructive supersession. It also elucidates different ways in which critical social theorists, committed to notions of “immanent transcendence,” draw on the resources of market societies to mount normative challenges to the aporias of those societies.

Details

Reconstructing Social Theory, History and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-469-3

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Stephane Trudel and Stephane Martineau

In a context that is directly linked to the interest movement that was borrowed by institutions of higher education, authors such as Michel Freitag (1995, 2002, 2008, 2011)

Abstract

In a context that is directly linked to the interest movement that was borrowed by institutions of higher education, authors such as Michel Freitag (1995, 2002, 2008, 2011), Bill Readings (1997) or Michel Seymour (2013) focused on the misappropriation of the foundations of education, in favor of the economic needs of the new corporatist society.

Through his work on the idea of recognition, Axel Honneth (1996, 2007a, 2007b, 2010, 2014) has managed to draw an interesting critique of contemporary Western society and the “use” it makes of individuals. With the publication of Disrespect: The Normative Foundation of Critical Theory (Honneth, 2007b) and Reification: A Recognition Theoretical View (Honneth, 2007a), Honneth sets the tone for the demanding character of his critique, which calls for a reconsideration of the intrinsic value of subjects, with regard to their own needs, their freedom and their identity.

Considering that higher education institutions tend to focus more and more on private interests, for example, by considerably diminishing professors’ academic freedom over the years, it seems imperative to question these power relations between them and civil society (which, of course, is not homogeneous). This will be the subject of our chapter, which will be based on works from both philosophy and sociology.

Details

International Perspectives on Policies, Practices & Pedagogies for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-854-3

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Gill Toms, Stephanie Green, Alison Orrell and Fiona Verity

Research can be an influential driver in raising care home standards and the well-being and human rights of residents. This paper aims to present a case for how a…

Abstract

Purpose

Research can be an influential driver in raising care home standards and the well-being and human rights of residents. This paper aims to present a case for how a relational research capacity building programme could advance this agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses Axel Honneth’s Recognition Theory as a lens through which to explore organisational and institutional factors (such as research capacity and investment) that can either enable or limit “recognition” in the context of research in care homes. This paper draws on recent evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and worldwide, to argue that such a relational capacity building agenda is even more pressing in the current context, and that it resonates with evidence from existing relational capacity building initiatives.

Findings

A lack of relevant research arguably contributed to the crisis experienced by the care home sector early in the pandemic, and there are only tentative signs that residents, care home providers and staff are now informing the COVID-19 research agenda. Evidence from pre COVID-19 and insights from Honneth’s Recognition Theory suggest that relational approaches to building research capacity within the care home sector can better generate evidence to inform practice.

Originality/value

This is a novel application of recognition theory to research in the care home sector. Drawing on theory, as well as evidence, has enabled the authors to provide a rationale as to why relationship-based research capacity building in care homes warrants further investment.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2010

Anne Liveng

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of recognition in learning processes among female nurses, social and health care assistants and occupational therapists…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of recognition in learning processes among female nurses, social and health care assistants and occupational therapists working with people with dementia and other age‐related illnesses.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper highlights the need to experience recognizing learning spaces among social and health care workers dealing with elderly care. Such learning spaces are crucial/imperative in order to come to terms with emotionally stressing experiences from daily work, and in order to be prepared for future challenges, such as new tasks or patients with a complex diagnosis. Drawing on Nordic research into health and care work, it is argued that, particularly in work fields which are mentally loaded or which are not held in high esteem culturally, this condition seems to be important.

Findings

The main argument is that learning is related to recognition – especially when it comes to groups of professionals, who are low ranked in the workplace hierarchy and therefore seldom experience recognition in their daily work. According to interviews with members of the mentioned professional groups, learning spaces, in which the medical and professional hierarchies are suspended, promote learning processes.

Originality/value

Axel Honneth's critical theory of recognition is used as the theoretical framework for understanding more generally the relational nature of human learning processes and the need for recognizing contexts. The paper concludes that this need is particularly imperative in health and care work for the elderly, but may also promote learning more generally.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 22 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

George Steinmetz

This review of Amy Allen’s book, The End of Progress (2016), first addresses the structure of the book and focuses on specific points made in individual chapters…

Abstract

This review of Amy Allen’s book, The End of Progress (2016), first addresses the structure of the book and focuses on specific points made in individual chapters, including the affinity between postcolonial theory and the approaches of Adorno and Foucault in subjecting the notion of historical progress to “withering critique,” and Allen’s alternative approach to decolonization; Habermas’ aim to put critical theory on a secure normative footing; Honneth’s stance that the history of an ethical sphere is an unplanned learning process kept in motion by a struggle for recognition; Forst’s attempt to reconstruct Critical Theory’s normative account through a return to Kant rather than Hegel; and Allen’s claim that her approach is fully in the spirit of Critical Theory and could be seen as continuation of Critical Theory’s first generation, as in Adorno, and how it is a “genealogical” approach that draws on Adorno’s negative dialectics and critique of identity thinking, as well as on Nietzsche’s conception of genealogy, as developed by Foucault. The second part of my response raises three issues: (1) Allen’s partial compromise with the idea of progress; (2) whether critical theory would profit from engagement with other critical theories and theories of ethics, beyond postcolonial theory; and (3) nonwestern theories shed a different light on the question of Allen’s critique, a theme that also draws attention to the gesture of decolonizing, the distinctions between colonialism and empire, and the sociology of knowledge production.

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

Karen Ng

This chapter offers a review of Amy Allen’s The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (2016) and presents the book as having both a…

Abstract

This chapter offers a review of Amy Allen’s The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (2016) and presents the book as having both a negative and positive aim. Its negative aim is to offer a critique of the Eurocentric narratives of historical progress that serves the function of normative grounding in the critical theories of Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth. Its positive aim is to provide a new approach to the normative grounding of critical theory that eschews Eurocentric narratives of progress through the idea of metanormative contextualism. For Allen, metanormative contextualism is developed through an engagement with the works of Adorno and Foucault. This chapter raises some critical questions concerning the position of metanormative contextualism, arguing that there are significant differences between Adorno and Foucault that render the position unstable. Specifically, Adorno’s normative conception of truth, alongside his critical naturalism presented through the notion of natural history, makes him ill-suited as a representative of Allen’s metanormative contextualism and complicates the contributions of Foucault’s genealogical analyses. The chapter concludes that a careful consideration of Adorno’s views reveals him to be opposed to the two central tenets of metanormative contextualism as defined by Allen.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 18 April 2018

Kati Turtiainen

Nation states’ neoliberal policies do not regard asylum seekers and undocumented migrants as deserving of a good life. Social work in welfare states is highly connected to…

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Abstract

Purpose

Nation states’ neoliberal policies do not regard asylum seekers and undocumented migrants as deserving of a good life. Social work in welfare states is highly connected to the policies of nation states. There is a need to address theories in social work that have a transnational focus at the local level. Axel Honneth’s recognition theory enables an approach to forced migration from the direction of personal relations and personhood itself. The core idea is that if people cannot gain recognition, this causes harm to their self-realisation. The purpose of this paper is discuss how the recognition theory overcomes a national focus in social work.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is theoretical. The relations of recognition are discussed in the context of transnational social work in welfare states with forced migrants.

Findings

The theory of recognition in social work practice with people who do not have a residence permit is best articulated by an understanding of rights concerning all the attributes of the person, i.e. as a needy being, autonomous and particular in a community.

Originality/value

Forced migrants’ backgrounds provide a specific backdrop for misrecognition, which may harm self-relations. The relations of recognition contribute to social work by providing the sensitivity required to evaluate the complexity of views and attitudes that affect the way we encounter service users. The relations of recognition (care, respect and esteem) give normative criteria for communication in order to take another person as a person, which, in turn, contributes to healthy self-relations of forced migrants.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

Amy Allen

My response to the thoughtful and insightful critical discussions of my book, The End of Progress, offered by Reha Kadakal, George Steinmetz, Karen Ng, and Kevin Olson…

Abstract

My response to the thoughtful and insightful critical discussions of my book, The End of Progress, offered by Reha Kadakal, George Steinmetz, Karen Ng, and Kevin Olson, restates its motivation and rationale to defend my interpretive claims regarding Adorno, Foucault, Habermas, Honneth, and Forst by applying standards drawn from the first two theorists that are consonant with postcolonial critical theory to the perspectives, claims, and theoretical contributions of the latter three theorists. Habermas, Honneth, and Forst presume a historical present that has shaped the second, third, and fourth generations of the Frankfurt School they represent – a present that appears to be characterized by relative social and political stability – a stability that only applies in the context of Europe and the United States. Elsewhere, anti-colonial struggles, proxy wars, and even genocides were related to the persistent legacies of European colonialism and consequences of American imperialism. Yet, critical theory must expand its angle of vision and acknowledge how its own critical perspective is situated within the postcolonial present. The essays of Kadakal and Ng express concerns about my metanormative contextualism and the question of whether Adorno’s work can be deployed to support it. Steinmetz challenges my “process of elimination” argument for metanormative contextualism and asks why I assume that constructivism, reconstructivism, and problematizing genealogy exhaust the available options for grounding normativity. Olson calls for a methodological decolonization to complement the epistemic decolonization I recommend. Critical theory should produce critical theories of actually existing societies, rather than being preoccupied with meta-theory or disputes over clashing paradigms.

Abstract

Details

Philosophy of Management and Sustainability: Rethinking Business Ethics and Social Responsibility in Sustainable Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-453-9

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Nanna Kann‐Christensen and Jack Andersen

The purpose of this article is to examine and critique the dominant new public management (NPM)‐mode of thinking in library development.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine and critique the dominant new public management (NPM)‐mode of thinking in library development.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the Danish Library Act from 2000 and a library policy from the municipal library of Aarhus in Denmark in order to show how they respectively display new public management thinking and handle pathologies of recognition.

Findings

The Danish Library Act from 2000 reflects an economic discourse which makes it hard for libraries to develop any normatively grounded agenda. The library policy from the municipal library of Aarhus reveals that it intends to deal with handling recognition but actually does the opposite.

Research limitations/implications

The context surrounding libraries and library development is becoming more political than ever. User groups are more diverse than ever and some do not even feel as being part of society. If libraries are to cope with this situation, they must try to work with the concept of recognition as an explicit part of their library activity. Otherwise libraries stand in danger of being considered a party closed to all but a selected few which would then contribute to a lack of recognition for those who are not being invited to the party. The forms of recognition can thus be used to structure library policies and library development

Originality/value

The analyses provided in this article show that libraries should be aware of how they describe and see their activities and practices.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 65 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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