Equalities: recognition, redistribution and citizenship

Chris Armstrong

in Rethinking Equality

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780719069246
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701287 | DOI:
Equalities: recognition, redistribution and citizenship

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This chapter examines the inter-relation of economic and cultural or symbolic inequalities, focusing on Nancy Fraser's work on ‘recognition and redistribution’. Fraser's work initially suggested a limited role for the ideal of equality: whereas equality provided a crucial language for the advancement of claims for economic redistribution, such language seemed to be out of place in claims for cultural or symbolic recognition. Fraser's assertion that diverse claims of justice can be best played out under the banner of what she calls parity of participation is to be welcomed. Such an ideal is clearly egalitarian, and also gestures towards an account of egalitarian citizenship. On the other hand, the usefulness of the recognition/redistribution framework is far from certain, and this signifies a failure, ultimately, to transcend the dualism between culture and economy. Instead, this chapter argues that a commitment to equal citizenship or parity of participation may be better served by a focus on oppression and hierarchy, categories which span these putative categories.

Keywords: Nancy Fraser; recognition; redistribution; equality; parity of participation; egalitarian citizenship; culture; economy; oppression; hierarchy

Chapter.  12478 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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