Beyond Nancy Fraser's 'Perspectival dualism'

(2001)
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Abstract

The bifurcation between economically and culturally orientated perspectives has become a central trope in critical thinking on the problems of social justice and injustice. This paper attempts a critical explication and assessment of Nancy Fraser's recent work on this problem. She attempts to transcend the culture-economy divide by proposing a 'perspectival dualism' in which distinctive 'economic-redistributive' and 'cultural-recognitive' logics of justice are analytically distinguished and practically combined so as to furnish a balanced strategy for left-critical praxis. The paper seeks to demonstrate how and why Fraser's dualistic perspective fails, insofar as it is untenable to confine recognitive claims to the realm of culture, since they can be seen to underpin both redistributively and culturally oriented manifestations of social struggle. An alternative, multi-axial and 'metatheoretical' conception of recognition is offered, one which, it is claimed, can encompass both economic and cultural struggles within its theoretical ambit.

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