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Redistribution, Recognition & Intersectionality Identity Politics

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IDENTITY POLITICS
1
Identity Politics: On Redistribution, Recognition and Intersectionality
Anavie R. Alegre
University of the Philippines-Visayas
Political Science 164
Prof. Mary Barbie Badayos-Jover
April 04, 2013

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IDENTITY POLITICS
2
The arising focus on identity subverts the body politic, emphasizing differences rather
then commonalities in society. The struggle for recognition of these identities are mobilized
in the lines of nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexuality (Fraser, 1997). Concerns for
recognition arise because of social injustices the derail the rise of individual self-identity and
the undermining and absorption of the identities of these minorities into the majority that may
lead to the vanishing of the culture and tradition identification among these groups. The
vanishing of this identification arises the notion of the preservation of these cultures leading
to identity-based movements. The discourse of recognition is primarily rooted in what Fraser
identified into cultural injustice and socioeconomic injustice. Cultural injustice is rooted in
“social patterns of representation, interpretation, and communication” (Fraser, 1997).
Socioeconomic injustice on the other hand roots from the political-economic structure of
society. These two are under a broader conceptSocial Justice. To uphold Social Justice it is
essential to remedy the social ills that arise in Society. Fraser proposed that the remedies of
these injustices are redistribution and recognition.
Redistribution remedies for socioeconomic injustice dedifferentiate groups and that
recognition remedies for cultural injustices enhance group differentiation. She argued that
because of this, it is hard to focus on both simultaneously.
Alcoff (2006) stated in her book Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self the
concerns with regards to the redistribution and recognition dilemma. She stated that identity
pathologize the society because it is a form of balkanization. However, according to her,
there is a discrepancy between theoretical constructions of these realities and it’s practical use.
She stated the stand of Liberalists and Leftists groups in the issue of identity and focused
more on Fraser’s arguments regarding the topic. She pointed out that redistribution and
recognition have conflicting aims. Redistribution aims calls for the abolishing economic
arrangements that underpin group specificity” (Alcoff, 2006). The demands that come with
this can either enhance or subvert inequalities. On the other hand, recognition claims calls
for the creation of group specificity and then affirming its value. Alcoff argued: “neither class
nor class identity can be separated from social identity”. Redistribution is an important facet
of society taking its roots from way back into history. According to her, it is the raison d’etre
of identity-based organizations. Fraser argues that to be able to lessen and ultimately
eradicate social inequalities, it is essential to veer away from asserting a groups identity and
focus more on the struggle for class status. She constructed recognition of identity into
recognition of status but Alcoff argues otherwise. According to her, recognition and
redistribution are bound up and mutually reinforce each other. To quote her:

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IDENTITY POLITICS 1 Identity Politics: On Redistribution, Recognition and Intersectionality Anavie R. Alegre University of the Philippines-Visayas Political Science 164 Prof. Mary Barbie Badayos-Jover April 04, 2013 IDENTITY POLITICS 2 The arising focus on identity subverts the body politic, emphasizing differences rather then commonalities in society. The struggle for recognition of these identities are mobilized in the lines of nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexuality (Fraser, 1997). Concerns for recognition arise because of social injustices the derail the rise of individual self-identity and the undermining and absorption of the identities of these minorities into the majority that may lead to the vanishing of the culture and tradition identification among these groups. The vanishing of this identification arises the notion of the preservation of these cultures leading to identity-based movements. The discourse of recognition is primarily rooted in what Fraser identified into cultural injustice and socioeconomic injustice. Cultural injustice is rooted in “social patterns of representation, interpretation, and communication” (Fraser, 1997). Socioeconomic injustice on the other hand roots from the political-economic structure of society. These two are under a broader concept—Social Justice. To uphold Social Justice it is essential to remedy the social ills that arise in Society. Fraser proposed that the remedies of these injustices are redistribution and re ...
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