21 November 2018

Mediated Recognition: Identity, Justice and Activism

Call for ICA 2019 Pre-Conference

Recognition plays a crucial role in cross-boundary identity formation of individuals and groups and it is a central feature in social struggles. Charles Taylor’s (1994) politics of recognition explains recognition’s role in multiculturalism and cultural diversity, whereas Axel Honneth (1995) stresses the need of mutual recognition for self-actualisation, while providing an important alternative for Marxist analyses of social struggle by stressing the role of respect and esteem instead of class conflict. Taylor and Honneth agree that liberal politics of equal rights are insufficient for a just society and that justice requires social solidarity that includes recognition of every individual’s contribution to society (McBride 2013).

What their social theories overlook though is the role of media, technology and communication in crossing the boundaries between social and cultural groups, in the constitution and change of recognition and in the pursuit of social justice. Consequently, this pre-conference has two central aims: (1) to update social theories of recognition by acknowledging its mediated nature; (2) to advance post-disciplinary debates on the role of media, technology and communication in the politics of and struggles for recognition. As such, the pre-conference will contribute to a better understanding of processes of identity formation, social conflict, (mis)representation, social justice, media(ted) activism and politics. It will address these issues by bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars.

We welcome theoretical and/or empirical contributions on questions including:

  1. Mediated recognition: How does a social theory of mediated recognition look like? To what extent do media, technology and communication alter the conditions for recognition and social justice?
  2. Identity and representation: Building on important work on recognition and the media by Cottle (2007) and Maia (2014), further work on media as sites of struggle is necessary. How can individuals and groups gain agency in mediated recognition processes? In what ways can activist or community media influence the recognition of marginalised, minority or discriminated groups across boundaries? How does mediated recognition fuel or intersect with politics?
  3. Datafication of recognition: What are the consequences for individuals, groups and their social fields when esteem is increasingly metricised and datafied, such as in Uber ratings or the Chinese Social Credit? What do cross-national or -cultural comparative analyses teach us about the (dis)similarities of data-related recognition struggles?
  4. Social justice: How do recognition theories shed new light on questions of media- and data-related misrecognition, non-recognition or injustice? How are social movements responding to inequalities and (feelings of) injustice rooted in mediated and datafied misrecognition?

Responses to the contributions will be given by Tanja Thomas (University of Tübingen), Peter Lunt (University of Leicester), Maia Rousiley (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Tanja Dreher (University of New South Wales).

Please email a 300-500 words proposal to Torgeir Uberg Nærland by January 10, 2019.

Authors will be notified of their acceptance before January 31, 2019.

Please direct any questions to: Olivier Driessens or Torgeir Uberg Nærland

The pre-conference is sponsored by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division and the Activism, Communication and Social Justice Interest Group (represented by Anne Kaun and Guobin Yang).

The pre-conference is financially supported by University of Bergen and University of Copenhagen.