Unruly Practices brings together a series of widely discussed essays in feminism and social theory. Read together, they constitute a sustained critical encounter with leading European and American approaches to social theory. In addition, Nancy Fraser develops a new and original socialist-feminist critical theory that overcomes many of the limitations of current alternatives. First, in a series of critical essays, she deploys philosophical and literary techniques to assess the work of Michael Foucault, the French deconstructionists, Richard Rorty, and Jürgen Habermas. (...) Then, in a group of constructive essays, she incorporates their respective strengths in a new critical theory of late-capitalist political culture. Fraser breaks new ground methodologically by integrating the previously divergent insights of poststructuralism, critical social theory, feminist theory, and pragmatism. Thematically, she deals with varied forms of dominance and subordination in modern, industrial, late-capitalist societies. These themes are integrated in an original theory of 'the politics of need interpretation.' This concept becomes the linchpin of the socialist-feminist critical theory. (shrink)
What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for an (...) integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
Until recently, struggles for justice proceeded against the background of a taken-for-granted frame: the bounded territorial state. With that "Westphalian" picture of political space assumed by default, the scope of justice was rarely subject to open dispute. Today, however, human-rights activists and international feminists join critics of structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation among fellow citizens. Targeting injustices that cut across borders, they are making the scale of (...) justice an object of explicit struggle. Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justicerepresentationand elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world. (shrink)
Refuting the argument to choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," _Justice Interruptus_ integrates the best aspects of both. ********************************************************* ** What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the false (...) oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
In the course of the last 30 years, feminist theories of gender have shifted from quasi-Marxist, labor-centered conceptions to putatively ‘post-Marxist’ culture-and identity-based conceptions. Reflecting a broader political move from redistribution to recognition, this shift has been double edged. On the one hand, it has broadened feminist politics to encompass legitimate issues of representation, identity and difference. Yet, in the context of an ascendant neoliberalism, feminist struggles for recognition may be serving less to enrich struggles for redistribution than to displace (...) the latter. Thus, instead of arriving at a broader, richer paradigm that could encompass both redistribution and recognition, feminists appear to have traded one truncated paradigm for another – a truncated economism for a truncated culturalism. This article aims to resist that trend. I propose an anaysis of gender that is broad enough to house the full range of feminist concerns, those central to the old socialist-feminism as well as those rooted in the cultural turn. I also propose a correspondingly broad conception of justice, capable of encompassing both distribution and recognition, and a non-identitarian account of recognition, capable of synergizing with redistribution. I conclude by examining some practical problems that arise when we try to envision institutional reforms that could redress gender maldistribution and gender misrecognition simultaneously. (shrink)
In this article I reply to four critics. Responding to Linda Alcoff, I contend that my original two-dimensional framework discloses the entwinement of economic and cultural strands of subordination, while also illuminating the dangers of identity politics. Responding to James Bohman, I maintain that, with the addition of the third dimension of representation, my approach illuminates the structural exclusion of the global poor, the relation between justice and democracy, and the status of comprehensive theorizing. Responding to Nikolas Kompridis, I defend (...) a view of recognition that prioritizes the critique of institutionalized injustice. Responding to Rainer Forst, I argue that such a critique is better formulated in participation-theoretic than justification-theoretic terms. (shrink)
In the course of the last thirty years, feminist theories of gender have shifted from quasi-Marxist, labor-centered conceptions to putatively “post-Marxist”culture- and identity-based conceptions. Reflecting a broader political move from redistribution to recognition, this shift has been double-edged. On the one hand, it has broadened feminist politics to encompass legitimate issues of representation, identity, and difference. Yet, in the context of an ascendant neoliberalism, feminist struggles for recognition may be serving to less to enrich struggles for redistribution than to displace (...) the latter. I aim to resist that trend. In this essay, I propose an analysis of gender that is broad enough to house the full range of feminist concerns, those central to the old socialist-feminism as well as those rooted in the cultural turn. I also propose a correspondingly broad conception of justice, capable of encompassing both distribution and recognition, and a non-identitarian account of recognition, capable of synergizing with redistribution. I conclude by examining some practical problems that arise when we try to envision institutional reforms that could redress gender maldistribution and gender misrecognition simultaneously. (shrink)
I argue that social- welfare struggles should become more central for feminists. To clarify these, I offer an analysis of the U.S. welfare system. I expose the system's underlying gender norms and show how administrative practices preemptively define women's needs. I then situate these state practices in a larger terrain of struggle over the interpretation of social needs where feminists can intervene.
Edited by Hans-Christoph Schmidt am Busch & Christopher Zurn. This volume collects original, cutting-edge essays on the philosophy of recognition by international scholars eminent in the field. By considering the topic of recognition as addressed by both classical and contemporary authors, the volume explores the connections between historical and contemporary recognition research and makes substantive contributions to the further development of contemporary theories of recognition.
This unique volume presents a debate between four of the top feminist theorists in the US today, discussing the key questions facing contemporary feminist theory, responding to each other, and distinguishing their views from others.
It is widely appreciated today that injustices can arise on different scales — some are national, some regional, some global. Thus, the notion of a plurality of scales of justice is intuitively plausible. What may be less evident is the idea that some important injustices are best located not on any one single scale but rather at the intersection of several scales. This article argues that this is the case for one of the core characteristic injustices of the present era: (...) namely, ‘the social exclusion of the global poor’. (shrink)
Misrecognition, taken seriously as unjust social subordination, cannot be remedied by eliminating prejudice alone. In this rejoinder to Richard Rorty, it is argued that a politics of recognition and a politics of redistribution can and should be combined. However, an identity politics that displaces redistribution and reifies group differences is deeply flawed. Here, instead, an alternative 'status' model of recognition politics is offered that encourages struggles to overcome status subordination and fosters parity of participation. Integrating this politics of recognition with (...) redistribution enables a coherent Left vision that could redress injustices of culture and of political economy simultaneously. (shrink)
" . . . Fraser and Bartky have brought the encounter between U.S. and French feminism to a new level of seriousness." --Ethics In the last decade, elements of French feminist discourse have permeated and transformed the larger feminist culture in the United States. This volume is the first sustained attempt to revalue French feminism and answer the question: What has been gained and what has been lost as a result of this intercultural encounter? Interviews with Simone de Beauvoir open (...) the book; essays by French feminists Sarah Kofman and Luce Irigaray follow; the North American contributors are Judith Butler, Nancy Fraser, Diana J. Fuss, Nancy J. Holland, Eleanor H. Kuykendall, Dorothy Leland, Diana T. Meyers, Andrea Nye, and Margaret A. Simons. (shrink)
The recent struggle over the confirmation of Clarence Thomas and the credibility of Anita Hill raises in a dramatic and pointed way many of the issues at stake in theorizing the public sphere in contemporary society. At one level, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Hill’s claim that Thomas sexually harassed her constituted an exercise in democratic publicity as it has been understood in the classical liberal theory of the public sphere. The hearings opened to public scrutiny a function of (...) government, namely, the nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court justice. They thus subjected a decision of state officials to the force of public opinion. Through the hearings, in fact, public opinion was constituted and brought to bear directly on the decision itself, affecting the process by which the decision was made as well as its substantive outcome. As a result, state officials were held accountable to the public by means of a discursive process of opinion and will formation.Yet that classical liberal view of the public sphere does not tell the whole story of these events.1 If were examine the Thomas confirmation struggle more closely, we see that the very meaning and boundaries of the concept of publicity was at stake. The way the struggle unfolded, moreover, depended at every point on who had the power to successfully and authoritatively define where the line between the public and the private would be drawn. It depended as well on who had the power to police and defend that boundary. 1. See Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger. Nancy Fraser is associate professor of philosophy and faculty fellow of the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University, where she also teaches in the women’s studies program. She is the author of Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse, and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory. She is currently working on Keywords of the Welfare State, a jointly authored book with Linda Gordon. (shrink)
The work of Richard J. Bernstein has achieved a groundbreaking synthesis of the analytical and continental modes of thought. Countering the highly technical metaphysical and epistemological puzzles of analytic philosophy in the early 1960s, Bernstein offered a model of philosophy in a democratic society as the work of the engaged public intellectual. Working within the tradition of American pragmatism, he also changed that tradition by opening it to the international intellectual currents of phenomenology, deconstructionism, and critical theory. These essays by (...) leading philosophers and social thinkers pay tribute to Bernstein and reflect the themes that have engaged him throughout his career.Pragmatism, Critique, Judgment opens with a group of essays that examine the place of philosophy in a democratic society; included in this section are Richard Rorty's exploration of the legacy of American pragmatism and Jürgen Habermas's reconsideration of ethics in philosophy. The essays in the second section examine postpositivist social critique and include Jacques Derrida's consideration of the philosophical paradoxes of the death penalty. The third group of essays considers the theme of radical evil, and includes discussions of Bernstein's nuanced reading of Hannah Arendt. The book ends with a biographical essay based in part on a series of conversations with Bernstein himself. (shrink)
The sixteen essays in Gender Struggles address a wide range of issues in gender struggles, from the more familiar ones that, for the last thirty years, have been the mainstay of feminist scholarship, such as motherhood, beauty, and sexual violence, to new topics inspired by post-industrialization and multiculturalism, such as the welfare state, cyberspace, hate speech, and queer politics, and finally to topics that traditionally have not been seen as appropriate subjects for philosophizing, such as adoption, care work, and the (...) home. (shrink)