Polemics, Political Racism, and Misrecognition: Naming and Analyzing Prejudice Against Arab-Americans
29 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 31 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
This paper explores, in particular, the theory of recognition proposed by Axel Honneth (in addition to a brief examination of Charles Taylor's work), in order to evaluate in what ways it is able to name and provide critical leverage over the experiences of Arab-Americans in contemporary social life. I argue that Honneth's three spheres of recognition, love, law, and solidarity, are insufficient for describing the major injustices against Arab-Americans, and propose in addition a concept of discursive misrecognition, which functions to make Arab-Americans impossible interlocutors in social and political relations. Using the work of Jurgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, and Ranier Forst, I elaborate on this notion of discursive injustice, and situate it in the political-theoretical field.
Keywords: Arab-Americans, recognition, misrecognition, Honneth, Foucault
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