The theory of recognition is perfectly described by Charles Taylor in his essay Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition. Taylor states that the Western world dominates, and that is, should recognize the cultural diversity in the framework of their civilization, and beyond (Charles and Gutmann 29). Cultural diversity exists in every society where there are different minority groups, from ethnic to sexual. They are the representatives of their own cultural identity, which is different from the identity of the mainstream. Social and political mood, as a rule, is not on the side of the minority (Charles and Gutmann 32).
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First and foremost, they see a potential threat, either to the integrity of the state or the preservation of traditional moral values. The efforts of the society are intended to reduce the specific features of each minority group and assimilate it. It leads to various kinds of discrimination, which is unacceptable from the point of view of natural rights and from the point of view of political rationality as well because discrimination increases the level of conflict in every particular society. It should be avoided, since, according to Taylor, everyone is unique.
The author overlooks counterarguments in his essay. Examining the ethnic and cultural policy in Canada and the United States, Taylor states that the politics of multiculturalism is more successful in Canada as it is advocated on the official level. Working as a professor in the English speaking town of McGill, which is located in French-speaking Quebec Taylor, does not take into consideration some points. It is relatively easy to coordinate the relations between French-speaking and English speaking population because both ethnic and cultural groups belong to the same civilization. However, people of color are outside of Western civilization, and confrontations are possible.
Identity, Authenticity, Survival: Multicultural Societies and Social Reproduction by Anthony Appiah
The author begins the article with the evaluation of Charles Taylor’s point of view. Appiah is sure that the modern world is centered on the issue regarding recognition. The expert discusses three crucial factors examined by Taylor. As a matter of fact, Appiah centers his attention on identity, authenticity, and survival. The author discusses the question regarding collective identities and highlights that division on “race, religion, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity” is heterogeneous (Charles and Gutmann 150). Appiah criticizes the statement made by Taylor, referencing to Herder concerning two levels of authenticity (Charles and Gutmann 153).
The author provides an example that questions the need for recognition in case racial discrimination occurs. Why would a person seek recognition from the people who reject other cultures? The author moves on by providing the reader with an ironic explanation.
Appiah provides counterarguments to the statements made by Taylor. The author does not see the point is seeking recognition from people who do not accept other cultures or races. In case both sides reject the norms of each other, what is the point of recognition? Although the argument seems logical, it should be stressed that Appiah does not take into consideration the fact, that the only solution to eliminate conflicts and confrontation is to understand that everyone is unique, and should be accepted. The issue regarding recognition is especially vital in a modern multicultural society. The visions and world outlook of people should not follow ancient rules and norms as the world is changes and society should keep pace with the progress.
Taylor, Charles, and Amy Gutmann. Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1994. Print.