Comments, Critical Dialogues, In Focus

Recognition as a ontological and human relationship

Recognition is looking in the mirror at the other to build a community that is not homogeneous but diverse.


Multicultural etnic mesa tejidos cultura pixabay Claudio Chipana G.


Here are some thoughts on the issue of recognition. Recognition in its broadest sense embraces the individual in their uniqueness and in the constitution of the most diverse communities, e.g. nationalities, ethnic minorities, cultures. Recognition results in the simplest acts of life and includes both interpersonal and social relationships.

Recognition is as necessary as your own existence, because it responds to a metaphysical individual need, as essential as all other basic human needs. But should transcend pure individuality as possible recognition requires a relationship with the other.

Recognition is not a superficial glance at the other, it is concerned primarily with dialogue and existential participation with the other, in the world of work, in every action that has the individual linked with others. This develops through the communicative and emotional relationship, bringing commitment and responsibility towards the other.

cara-gente-cultura-libro-leer-pixabayWithout recognition, social and human relations in general would not be possible. Recognition can be seen in maternal and fraternal love; out of subjectivity and objectivity in the world of social relations. But it is not purely rational or purely objective.

The different degrees of closeness and communication between individuals and groups reflect different degrees of recognition.

However, and this is clear throughout history and in the present day, recognition coexists with conflict, and that conflict overrides recognition. Wars and genocides override not only recognition but the individual themselves. Any progress in the recognition of the other is a step towards building a different order. Recognition is an ending and a new direction at the same time.

It can be an effective means to bridge the inter-cultural and racial disparities to eradicate conflict.

At the same time recognition presupposes a moral burden that those involved in the dialogue must carry, in order to make this possible.

DIVERSIDAD cafe multicul pixabayIn other words, there can not be an active and a passive role in the process leading to recognition, as this is not automatic nor is it accomplished in a single act.

Undoubtedly, breaks and obstacles to recognition are relations of domination and sub-alternation between individuals.

In this sense, so that recognition is not a mere formal act, we must take concrete steps for its implementation, resulting in lasting and sustained relationships.

On a personal level recognition of the other means fulfilling a deep subjective need founded on understanding and freely expressed affection.

In social terms, the recognition and inclusion of the other particularly refers to those who were traditionally marginalised. Such is the case for women, exiles, immigrants and minorities; marginalised by their gender, race or religion.

chocolate manzana verde fruta pixabayWe could say that we should only speak of humanity in a

planetary sense, if there is a universal recognition of the individual anywhere in the world, if we recognise and allow for recognition beyond our differences.

Recognition is looking in the mirror at the other to build a community that is not homogeneous but diverse.

(Translated by Grace Essex – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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