A guy called Axel Honneth wrote about recognition theory. He believes that if someone is cared for, respected and valued, they will feel good about themselves. He thinks that other people will also see that they are important too. He calls this love, rights and solidarity.
Feeling these things helps people feel important and included. They start to see how they can be part of making life better for themselves and others. Honneth calls this “developing their identity”.
Once Honneth started telling everyone about his “recognition theory”, some people (a woman called Nancy Fraser in particular) thought he forgot to talk about all the times people don’t feel cared for, respected or valued. She thought it was important to talk about those bits too. So together, they worked on finding out what happens when someone isn’t cared for, respected or valued.
They called this “misrecognition”.
They believe when misrecognition happens, people don’t get a chance to develop their own identity or see how they are important in the world. They also say other people can’t see that person’s importance either.
They believe it is just as important for you to love, respect and value someone so that you can feel those things too. They called that “mutuality”, which means, it goes both ways.
We started with Honneth’s ideas, and added other words that also mean the same kind of thing. We can look for times that people say these sorts of things in our interviews to see if they are feeling this way.