For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Honneth on work and recognition: A rejoinder from feminist political economy"

by Connolly, Julie (2016)


This paper explores the development of Honneth?s thought on work. It considers how his initial concerns with the embodied experience of labour and the absence of a contemporary and compelling class-specific lexicon with which to explore suffering at work have been surpassed and subordinated by his analysis of the social relations of recognition in civil society, which is distributed according to a contested and contestable achievement principle. I argue that despite the purchase of the criticisms offered by recent rejoinders, they fail to engage with the strength of his analysis: that modern economics contains a normative (recognition) order which works to justify the extant division of labour and income, even if its current formulation supports inequity, exclusion and exploitation. Feminist political economy is an ally in this analysis. The paper explores the points of intersection between these projects, but argues that incorporating feminist insights will require a fundamental revision to Honneth?s account of social rationalization in modernity.

Key Passage



Feminism, Feminist Theories Of Work, Axel Honneth, Deranty, Embodiment Of Labor, Suffering


On Honneth, Social recognition, Feminist Political Economy, Critical Theory of Work

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