This article merges the ‘terminologies of social change’ from recognition theory and mediatization research to argue that the mediatization of society has eased and accelerated processes of what recognition theorist Axel Honneth calls individualization and social inclusion. This, however, cannot be understood unambiguously as moral progress. Thus, the first part of the article outlines the conceptualization of social change in Honneth’s recognition-theoretical framework, including the critique of recognition theory’s account of power, which problematizes Honneth’s inherent idea of moral progress. Considering this critique, the article follows Douglas Giles’ suggestion that we must distinguish between affirmational and transformational struggles for recognition. The discussion is subsequently related to the conceptualization of social change in mediatization research, which shows that the closely interrelated phenomena of a social relocation of media and a re-orientation of the self help facilitate and constitute the individual’s increased possibilities, but also dependence, with respect to intersubjective recognition from peer groups in many contemporary societies. This provides the starting point for exemplifying how the conditions for affirmational and transformational recognition struggles, and thus individualization and social inclusion, have changed in a mediatized world. This exemplification draws primarily on an in-depth case study of mediated recognition in the lives of four young Danes aged 15 to 30 years with different subcultural identity positions. The main empirical illustrations involve the experiences of the 22-year-old hijabi football freestyler Maarika, who uses her Muslim identity actively on her social media channels to be a role model and to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims and female footballers.