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Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism


  • Page extent: 214 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.29 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521697590)

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Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism

Cambridge University Press
9780521874878 - Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism - by Sarah Song

Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism

Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism explores the tensions that arise when culturally diverse democratic states pursue both justice for religious and cultural minorities and justice for women. Sarah Song provides a distinctive argument about the circumstances under which egalitarian justice requires special accommodations for cultural minorities while emphasizing the value of gender equality as an important limit on cultural accommodation. Drawing on detailed case studies of gendered cultural conflicts, including conflicts over the “cultural defense” in criminal law, aboriginal membership rules, and polygamy, Song offers a fresh perspective on multicultural politics by examining the role of intercultural interactions in shaping such conflicts. In particular, she demonstrates the different ways that majority institutions have reinforced gender inequality in minority communities and, in light of this, argues in favor of resolving gendered cultural dilemmas through intercultural democratic dialogue.

SARAH SONG is Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Contemporary Political Theory

Series Editors

Ian Shapiro

Editorial Board

Russell Hardin

Stephen Holmes

Jeffrey Isaac

John Keane

Elizabeth Kiss

Susan Okin

Phillipe Van Parijs

Philip Pettit

As the twenty-first century begins, major new political challenges have arisen at the same time as some of the most enduring dilemmas of political association remain unresolved. The collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War reflect a victory for democratic and liberal values, yet in many of the Western countries that nurtured those values there are severe problems of urban decay, class and racial conflict, and failing political legitimacy. Enduring global injustice and inequality seem compounded by environmental problems, disease, the oppression of women, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and the relentless growth of the world’s population. In such circumstances, the need for creative thinking about the fundamentals of human political association is manifest. This new series in contemporary political theory is needed to foster such systematic normative reflection.

The series proceeds in the belief that the time is ripe for a reassertion of the importance of problem-driven political theory. It is concerned, that is, with works that are motivated by the impulse to understand, think critically about, and address the problems in the world, rather than issues that are thrown up primarily in academic debate. Books in the series may be interdisciplinary in character, ranging over issues conventionally dealt with in philosophy, law, history, and the human sciences. The range of materials and the methods of proceeding should be dictated by the problem at hand, not the conventional debates or disciplinary divisions of academia.

Other books in the series

Ian Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordόn (eds.) Democracy’s Value

Ian Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordόn (eds.) Democracy’s Edges

Brooke A. Ackerly Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism

Clarissa Rile Hayward De-Facing Power

John Kane The Politics of Moral Capital

Ayelet Shachar Multicultural Jurisdictions

John Keane Global Civil Society?

Rogers M. Smith Stories of Peoplehood

Gerry Mackie Democracy Defended

John Keane Violence and Democracy

Kok-Chor Tan Justice without Borders

Peter J. Steinberger The Idea of the State

Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism

Sarah Song

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Sarah Song 2007

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2007

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data
Justice, gender, and the politics of multiculturalism / Sarah Song.
            p. cm. – (Contemporary political theory)
      Includes bibliographical references and index.
      ISBN 978-0-521-87487-8 (hardback : alk. paper)
      ISBN 978-0-521-69759-0 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Sex discrimination against women.  2. Women’s rights.  3. Minorities – Civil
  rights.  4. Multiculturalism.  5. Pluralism (Social sciences)  6. Culture
 conflict.  7. Social Justice.  I. Song, Sarah, 1973–  II. Title.  III. Series.
HQ1237.J87 2007
305.48′8 – dc22  200700749

ISBN 978-0-521-87487-8 hardback

ISBN 978-0-521-69759-0 paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party internet websites referred to in this book,
and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For my parents


Acknowledgmentspage xi
  The problem of internal minorities2
  Reframing the debate4
  Justice and the claims of culture8
  Outline of the book11
Part I15
2The concept of culture in political theory17
  Culture as an “irreducibly social good”17
  Culture as a “primary good”22
  The structure of identity29
  The constructivist challenge31
3Justice and multiculturalism: an egalitarian argument for cultural accommodation41
  Why equality?43
  Rights-respecting accommodationism46
    Present discrimination51
    Historical injustice53
    State establishment of culture61
  T he role of deliberation68
Part II85
4The “cultural defense” in American criminal law87
  “Marriage by capture” and the law of rape89
  “Wife murder” and the doctrine of provocation93
  A qualified defense of the “cultural defense”100
  Potential boomerang effects109
5Tribal sovereignty and the Santa Clara Pueblo case114
  Tribal sovereignty and gendered rules of tribal membership115
  The state’s role in the politics of tradition formation120
  Intercultural congruence and the accommodation of tribal practices127
  The limits of tribal sovereignty131
6Polygamy in America142
  The rise and fall of Mormon polygamy143
  The antipolygamy movement and the diversionary effect145
  Mormon polygamy today156
  A case for qualified recognition160

© Cambridge University Press

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