Accommodating cultural differences commonalities

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Acts of recognition infuse many aspects of our lives such as receiving a round of applause from a rapt audience, being spotted in a crowded street by a long-forgotten friend, having an application for a job rejected because of your criminal record, enjoying some words of praise by a respected philosophy professor, getting pulled over by the police because you are a black man driving an expensive car, and fighting to have your same-sex marriage officially sanctioned in order to enjoy the same benefits as hetero-sexual marriages.

Evidently the various ways we are recognised (and recognise others) play an important role in shaping our quality of life.

Various attempts have been made to clarify precisely what is, and is not, to count as an act of recognition (perhaps most comprehensively by Ikäheimo and Laitinen, 2007).

Multicultural politics is rooted in the identity politics underlying various social movements that gained prominence during the 1960s, such as the civil rights movement and radical/cultural feminism.

Here A and B indicate two individual persons, specifically A is the recogniser and B the recognisee.

C designates the attribute recognised in A, and D is the dimension of B’s personhood at stake.

This article begins by clarifying the specific political and philosophical meaning of recognition.

It will provides an overview of Hegel’s remarks on recognition before proceeding to identify the contemporary advocates of recognition.

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