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Summary Multiculturalism and feminism have a tense relationship.  While much of the philosophical defense of multiculturalism has been presented in terms that are amenable to feminist concerns, a number of feminist criticisms of multiculturalism have emerged in recent years.  In particular, some feminists have objected that the protection of cultural practices frequently comes at the expense of gender equality.  Issues that crystalise this tension include the burqa ban, religious education, and female genital mutilation.
Key works A key feminist critique of multiculturalism is Okin 1999 (see also her Okin 1998 and Okin 2002).  Other influential works include Spinner‐Halev 2001, Phillips 2007, Deveaux 2006, Meyers 2001 and Shachar 2001
Introductions The best starting point for an overview of this topic is the collection of essays in Cohen, Howard 1999
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  1. Lawrence Blum (2001). Joshua Cohen, Matthew Howard, and Martha C. Nussbaum, Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?:Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Ethics 111 (3):622-625.
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  2. Clare Chambers (2004). Are Breast Implants Better Than Female Genital Mutilation? Autonomy, Gender Equality and Nussbaum's Political Liberalism. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7 (3):1-33.
    This essay considers the tension between political liberalism and gender equality in the light of social construction and multiculturalism. The tension is exemplified by the work of Martha Nussbaum, who tries to reconcile a belief in the universality of certain liberal values such as gender equality with a political liberal tolerance for cultural practices that violate gender equality. The essay distinguishes between first? and second?order conceptions of autonomy, and shows that political liberals mistakenly prioritise second?order autonomy. This prioritisation leads political (...)
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  3. Alan M. S. J. Coffee (2013). Two Spheres of Domination: Republican Theory, Social Norms and the Insufficiency of Negative Freedom. Contemporary Political Theory.
    Republicans understand freedom as the guaranteed protection against any arbitrary use of coercive power. This freedom is exercised within a political community, and the concept of arbitrariness is defined with reference to the actual ideas of its citizens about what is in their shared interests. According to many current defenders of the republican model, this form of freedom is understood in strictly negative terms representing an absence of domination. I argue that this assumption is misguided. First, it is internally inconsistent. (...)
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  4. Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.) (2005). Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. cambridge university press.
  5. Luara Ferracioli (2013). Challenging the Burqa Ban. Journal of Intercultural Studies 34 (1):89-101.
    Following the successful campaign to have the burqa and niqab banned from public use in France, and the continuing advocacy to have these garments banned in other Western liberal societies, I examine whether the two strongest challenges to the burqa and niqab succeed in justifying a ban on these forms of veil. Although I argue that they both fail in supporting a ban, the fact that some Muslim women may be coerced into full veiling gives liberal states a moral duty (...)
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  6. Nancy Fraser (1996). Multiculturalism and Gender Equity: The U.S. "Difference" Debates Revisited. Constellations 3 (1):61-72.
  7. Marilyn Friedman (1995). Multicultural Education and Feminist Ethics. Hypatia 10 (2):56 - 68.
    Feminist ethics supports the contemporary educational trend toward increased multiculturalism and a diminished emphasis on the Western canon. First, I outline a feminist ethical justification for this development. Second, I argue that Western canon studies should not be altogether abandoned in a multicultural curriculum. Third, I suggest that multicultural education should help combat oppression in addition to simply promoting awareness of diversity. Fourth, I caution against an arrogant moralism in the teaching of multiculturalism.
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  8. Ranjoo Seodu Herr (2004). A Third World Feminist Defense of Multiculturalism. Social Theory and Practice 30 (1):73-103.
    Many influential Western feminists of diverse backgrounds have expressed concerns that multiculturalism, while strengthening the power of racial ethnic minorities vis-à-vis the majority, worsens the position of its most vulnerable members, women. Despite their good intentions, these feminists have been consistently dismissive of the voices of racial ethnic women, many of whom argue for the importance of sustaining their own “illiberal” cultures within the Western context. I offer a Third World feminist defense of multiculturalism by paying attention to these women (...)
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  9. Ranjoo Seodu Herr (2004). A Third World Feminist Defense of Multiculturalism. Social Theory and Practice 30 (1):73-103.
    Many influential Western feminists of diverse backgrounds have expressed concerns that multiculturalism, while strengthening the power of racial ethnic minorities vis-à-vis the majority, worsens the position of its most vulnerable members, women. Despite their good intentions, these feminists have been consistently dismissive of the voices of racial ethnic women, many of whom argue for the importance of sustaining their own “illiberal” cultures within the Western context. I offer a Third World feminist defense of multiculturalism by paying attention to these women (...)
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  10. Cynthia Kaufman (2002). Book Review: Susan Moller Okin. Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999. [REVIEW] Hypatia 17 (4):228-232.
  11. Michelle Renee Matisons (2003). Feminism and Multiculturalism. Social Theory and Practice 29 (4):655-664.
  12. Monica Mookherjee (2005). Review Article: Feminism and Multiculturalism—Putting Okin and Shachar in Question. Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (2):237-241.
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  13. Uma Narayan & Sandra Harding (1998). Introduction. Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy (Part I). Hypatia 13 (2):1-6.
  14. Aletta J. Norval (1998). Review Essay : The New Democracy: Feminism Between Multiculturalism and Anti-Essentialism: Jodi Dean (Ed.) Feminism and the New Democracy: Resiting the Political (London: Sage Publications, 1997). Pp. 274. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (6):127-132.
  15. Susan Moller Okin (2007). Mistresses of Their Own Destiny ": Group Rights, Gender, and Realistic Rights of Exit. In Randall R. Curren (ed.), Philosophy of Education: An Anthology. Blackwell Pub.. 205-230.
  16. Susan Moller Okin (2002). “Mistresses of Their Own Destiny”: Group Rights, Gender, and Realistic Rights of Exit. Ethics 112 (2):205-230.
  17. Susan Moller Okin (1999). Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? In Howard Cohen (ed.), Is multiculturalism bad for women?
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  18. Susan Moller Okin (1998). Feminism, Women's Human Rights, and Cultural Differences. Hypatia 13 (2):32 - 52.
    The recent global movement for women's human rights has achieved considerable re-thinking of human rights as previously understood. Since many of women's rights violations occur in the private sphere of family life, and are justified by appeals to cultural or religious norms, both families and cultures (including their religious aspects) have come under critical scrutiny.
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  19. Susan Moller Okin (1998). Feminism and Multiculturalism: Some Tensions. Ethics 108 (4):661-684.
  20. Susan Moller Okin (1994). Gender Inequality and Cultural Differences. Political Theory 22 (1):5-24.
  21. Candrakalā Pāḍiyā (2011). Theorizing Feminism: A Cross-Cultural Exploration. Rawat Publications.
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  22. Anne Phillips (2007). Multiculturalism Without Culture. Princeton University Press.
    In this book, she offers a new way of addressing dilemmas of justice and equality in multiethnic, multicultural societies, intervening at this critical moment when so many Western countries are poised to abandon multiculturalism.
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  23. Roland Pierik (2004). Ayelet Shachar: Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights. [REVIEW] Political Theory 32 (4):585-589.
  24. Ayelet Shachar (2001). Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women's Rights. cambridge university press.
    Cultural Differences and Women's Rights Ayelet Shachar. (drawing on a group's desire to maintain property within the community), and the state might hold the authority over demarcation (drawing on state traditions to protect the status of ...
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  25. Jeff Spinner-Halev (2001). Feminism, Multiculturalism, Oppression, and the State. Ethics 112 (1):84-113.
  26. Jeff Spinner‐Halev (2001). Feminism, Multiculturalism, Oppression, and the State. Ethics 112 (1):84-113.
  27. Jennifer Warriner (2011). The Future of Political Theory? A Review of Toward a Humanist Justice: The Political Philosophy of Susan Moller Okin. Edited by Debra Satz and Rob Reich and Women's Rights as Multicultural Claims: Reconfiguring Gender and Diversity in Political Philosophy. By Monica Mookherjee. Hypatia 26 (4):864-871.
  28. Iris Marion Young (1986). The Ideal of Community and the Politics of Difference. Social Theory and Practice 12 (1):1-26.