Between Ideology and Utopia: Honneth and Ricoeur on Symbolic Violence, Marginalization and Recognition

Marianne Moyaert

Abstract


This article focuses on multiculturalism in the context of present-day societies and the need to incorporate minorities within a reframed social order. In his critical theory, Axel Honneth rightly draws attention to the idea of the moral grammar of struggles for recognition.  Analyzing his theory in depth, the article shows that Honneth underestimates the violent power of ideological discourse in marginalizing and excluding society’s others, e.g. cultural minorities. It then puts forward an alternative approach based on Ricœur’s creative and original reflections on ideology and utopia. For the incorporation of cultural minorities to occur, the symbolic order of society needs to be critiqued, transformed and expanded. From this perspective, the author highlights the subversive and transformative strength of utopian counter-narratives. The latter form a vital resource for cultural minorities in their struggle for recognition.


Keywords


Multiculturalism, Ricœur, Honneth, Recognition, Cultural Minorities

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/errs.2011.49

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Copyright (c) 2011 Marianne Moyaert

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