Draft for an Essay Based on Charles Taylor Politics of Recognition

Topics: Gender, Culture, Multiculturalism Pages: 5 (1745 words) Published: April 7, 2013


We live in a globalized world with free movement of people across Europe and easy movement of people across every other part of the globe. Men are now able to live and travel through different countries and, because of that, multiculturalism is present in almost every country around the globe. There is now a wide range of different cultures, nationalities and races around the planet. That movement of people create consequences and, in order to prevent negative aspects and to assure equality and integration, governments had to take measures to ensure that those immigrants are adequately inserted in the country’s life and that they are treated equally. But, even though most of the governments took measures to prevent racism, xenophobia, and discrimination, immigrants are still suffering from lack of opportunities, jobs, among other essential aspects and more important, women are still repressed in this world. In that context many sociologists and thinkers have written books where they refer the importance of multiculturalism, pluralism and how they must be respected and treated. Among them we have Charles Taylor that wrote “Politics of Recognition”, something extremely important for occidental cultures. Basically, what he states is that there is a need for recognizing multiculturalism, pluralism and every kind of difference in order to assure that people have a say and are respected. This paper aims to provide an overall view of the politics of recognition and critically discuss with examples how important these politics are and how they can be used in order to obtain equality.

Politics of Recognition

The author begins his remarks by encouraging governments and public bodies in recognizing differences between individuals and cultural minority groups present in societies (with the creation of public policies). In order to do that, the author starts by analysing the process of identity, linking it with the need and requirement of recognition since individual identities are created and moulded through the process of recognition or lack of it. Imagine if an individual who belong to a minority group – for instance a Traveller in Ireland - grow his entire life without being accepted or recognised, eventually he would end up as a marginal, without the same opportunities as most of the population. It also can occur a false recognition by third parties which can result in group damage, since this can lead to a false and reduced behaviour; in fact, Taylor states that “misrecognition (…) can inflict a grievous wound, saddling its victims with a crippling self-hatred.”, so the absence of recognition can make people hate their origins, their culture and above all that, make them despise who they are. Due to that, recognition is seen as something essential to the individual’s wellbeing, it is “not just a courtesy we owe people. It is a vital human need.” (Taylor,1994,26).

Dialogical character – the human being acquires different ways of behaviour. It includes everything that defines him. In that case love, art, music, dance… But the human being does not learn it by himself. Everything that makes part of him and defines him as a person comes from learning with other people, by imitating and assimilating their behaviour creating their own interpretation of facts. Because of that the human being is considered a dialogical character, because he needs other characters to learn more. Authenticity – every person is different from other. That includes a wide range of singularities that define a person. Charles Taylor writes that “each person has his or her own measure” and because of that “I am called upon to live my life in this way, and not in imitation of anyone else’s life.”. So every person has his own personality and because of that different ways of act and interact with another people. The way people assimilate, incorporate and respond to what is around them is different. After all each person...

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