A psychological approach to social recognition: The role of respect and self-respect for individuals and society
Dr. Daniela Renger (Social and Political Psychology, Kiel University, Germany)
Inspired by recognition theory of social philosopher Axel Honneth (1995), my research revolves around the empirical investigation of equality-based respect and its internalization as self-respect. Together with colleagues I have studied respect, i.e. the recognition as someone of equal worth who is taken seriously, in interpersonal, intra- and intergroup relations. We demonstrated effects on central personal outcomes such as autonomy or life satisfaction, as well as social outcomes such as collective identification or participation. For self-respect I recently derived a definition which was lacking in psychology so far. Self-respect represents a person’s ability to see him- or herself as a holder of equal rights and predicts assertive behaviour when one’s rights are violated. In those studies self-respect was not related to aggressive claim making. It therefore implies a form of entitlement that allows the individual to communicate claims in a socially compatible way. In this talk, I will locate my research findings on respect and self-respect within the overall model of recognition theory.