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Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism

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Part of Contemporary Political Theory

  • Author: Sarah Song, University of California, Berkeley
  • Date Published: December 2007
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511346323

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About the Authors
  • 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 favour of resolving gendered cultural dilemmas through intercultural democratic dialogue.

    • A fresh perspective on multicultural politics, examining the role of intercultural interactions in shaping gendered cultural conflicts
    • Features three detailed case studies which demonstrate the theory developed in the book
    • Written in a clear and accessible style
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    Awards

    • Winner of the APSA's Ralph Bunche Award for the best scholarly work in political science published in the previous year that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Professor Song convincingly demonstrates that the numerous multiculturalism problems require analysis of both the interactions between the majority and minority culture, as well as debates internal to the minority culture. Her analysis of cultural defenses, polygamy, and other matters successfully challenges conventional wisdom and merits broad attention.' Mark A. Graber, Professor of Law and Government, University of Maryland

    '… a thoughtful consideration of the impasses between the recognition of multicultural diversity and the liberal feminist demand for gender equality and parity. … Song also makes quite a compelling case that the adjudication of these contestations should be predicated on more nuanced understandings of cultural production that take seriously the basic rights of the individual members.' Journal of Politics and Gender

    'Sarah Song's Justice, Gender and the Politics of Mulitculturalism is a timely book that offers an important contribution to this subject. … Song questions the oft-held assumption of proponents of multiculturalism … Song also emphasises the role of the state in constructing cultures … Song really brings these issues to life. 'The majority culture is in certain respects not less patriarchal than minority culutres, just differently so'. The book's many examples both richly illustrate this point and underscore the fact that such generalising can only take us so far.' American Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2007
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511346323
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I:
    2. The concept of culture in political theory
    3. Justice and multiculturalism: an egalitarian argument for cultural accommodation
    Part II:
    4. The 'cultural defense' in American criminal law
    5. Tribal sovereignty and the Santa Clara Pueblo case
    6. Polygamy in America
    7. Epilogue.

  • Author

    Sarah Song, University of California, Berkeley
    Sarah Song is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has won several prizes and awards for her work including the Best Dissertation Award by the American Political Science Association Women and Politics Section in 2004.

    Awards

    • Winner of the APSA's Ralph Bunche Award for the best scholarly work in political science published in the previous year that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism

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