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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

versão impressa ISSN 0102-6909versão On-line ISSN 1806-9053


CAILLE, Alain. Recognition and sociology. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.66, pp.151-163. ISSN 0102-6909.

This paper aims at showing that the theme of recognition is essential in redefining the sociological theory. In order to do so, some sociology classics are examined to show that in all of them the issue of recognition is somewhat implicit. Following that, the author seeks to show that the complexity of the recognition theme is in its double register, a positive one - the admission of a fact, of a person - and a normative one - opening towards love, respect, and self-esteem dimensions - i.e., towards a whole moral context subjacent to the positive dimension. According to him, the classical economy has built itself on the value-merchandise idea, whereas the sociology is able to renovate itself from some social-value that will only become visible when mankind is conceived as value itself. Finally, according to Caillé, recognition is admitting there has been a gift; we are debtors to the one who has made it, continuing to interact with it. Therefore, if recognizing a person is both admitting his social value and offering anything as return, what is then socially noticed is the very existence of a gift.

Palavras-chave : Sociological theory; Recognition; Social value; Gift.

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