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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 2000 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. added 2019-06-06
    Feminism and Multiculturalism—Putting Okin and Shachar in Question.Monica Mookherjee - 2005 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (2):237-241.
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  2. added 2019-06-06
    Multiculturalism and Gender Equity: The U.S. “Difference” Debates Revisited.Nancy Fraser - 1996 - Constellations 3 (1):61-72.
  3. added 2019-06-05
    “Mistresses of Their Own Destiny”: Group Rights, Gender, and Realistic Rights of Exit.Susan Moller Okin - 2002 - Ethics 112 (2):205-230.
  4. added 2019-06-05
    Book ReviewJoshua Cohen, ;, Matthew Howard, ; and Martha C. Nussbaum,, Eds. Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999. Pp. 146. $29.95 ; $10.36. [REVIEW]Lawrence Blum - 2001 - Ethics 111 (3):622-625.
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  5. added 2019-06-05
    Review Essay : The New Democracy: Feminism Between Multiculturalism and Anti-Essentialism.Aletta J. Norval - 1998 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (6):127-132.
  6. added 2018-08-15
    Review of Women and Human Development.Alison Jaggar - 2001 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 1 (2).
  7. added 2018-08-01
    “Saving Amina”: Global Justice for Women and Intercultural Dialogue.Alison M. Jaggar - 2005 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (3):55-75.
    Western moral and political theorists have devoted much attention to the victimization of women by non-western cultures. But, conceiving injustice to poor women in poor countries as a matter of their oppression by illiberal cultures yields an imcomplete understanding of their situation.
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  8. added 2018-02-17
    Two Spheres of Domination: Republican Theory, Social Norms and the Insufficiency of Negative Freedom.Alan M. S. J. Coffee - 2015 - Contemporary Political Theory 14 (1):45-62.
    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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  9. added 2018-01-29
    Do Muslim Women Need Freedom.Serene J. Khader - 2016 - Politics and Gender 2 (4).
  10. added 2017-12-06
    Adaptive Preferences and Women's Empowerment. By SERENE J. KHADER. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.Asha Bhandary - 2013 - Hypatia 28 (2):390-393.
  11. added 2017-11-29
    Arranged Marriage: Could It Contribute To Justice?Asha Bhandary - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (2):193-215.
    The value of autonomy is a hallmark of liberal doctrine. It would seem to follow that liberals must reject the practice of “arranged marriage” on the grounds that the “arranging” component of the practice eschews autonomy and individuality. However, in policy debates in Great Britain, the difference between “arranged marriage” and “forced marriage” has been defined as the presence of autonomy or free choice for an arranged marriage and their absence in cases of forced marriage. A paradox seems to result: (...)
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  12. added 2017-07-14
    Multiculturalism: A Challenge to Two Myths of Liberalism.Shelley M. Park & Michelle LaRocque - 1995 - Race, Gender and Class 3 (1):27-48.
    This paper sketches a brief account of multiculturalism in order to distinguish it from other positions that have been under attack recently. Following this, we address two prevalent and diametrically opposed criticisms of multiculturalism, namely, that multiculturalism is relativistic, on the one hand, and that it is absolutist, on the other. Both of these criticisms, we argue, simply mask liberal democratic theory's myth- begotten attempt to resolve the tension between the one and the many. Multiculturalism challenges the myths of meritocracy (...)
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  13. added 2016-12-12
    Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women's Rights.Ayelet Shachar - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Is it possible for the state simultaneously to respect deep cultural differences and to protect the hard-won citizenship rights of vulnerable group members, particularly women? This 2001 book argues that it is not only theoretically needed, but also institutionally feasible. Rejecting prevalent normative and legal solutions to this 'paradox of multicultural vulnerability', Multicultural Jurisdictions develops a powerful argument for enhancement of the jurisdictional autonomy of religious and cultural minorities while at the same time providing viable legal-institutional solutions to the problem (...)
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  14. added 2016-12-08
    Gender Inequality and Cultural Differences.Susan Moller Okin - 1994 - Political Theory 22 (1):5-24.
  15. added 2016-10-13
    L’approche des capabilités de Martha Nussbaum face aux enjeux multiculturels des sociétés libérales occidentales.Marie-Pier Lemay - 2015 - Ithaque 16:77 - 100.
    Se situant au confluent du libéralisme politique rawlsien et de l’anthropologie néoaristotélicienne, l’approche des capabilités de Martha Nussbaum offre un cadre théorique permettant de répondre aux tensions multiculturelles. Cet article constitue une analyse détaillée de la réponse de Nussbaum à ces enjeux, qui prétend unir un pluralisme axiologique à un universalisme moral fort. Nous avancerons que la démarche entreprise par la philosophe porte une tension entre le libéralisme politique rawlsien et le cadre conceptuel apporté par la liste des capabilités. Cette (...)
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  16. added 2015-07-08
    Change Your Look, Change Your Luck: Religious Self-Transformation and Brute Luck Egalitarianism.Muhammad Velji - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):453-471.
    My intention in this paper is to reframe the practice of veiling as an embodied practice of self-development and self- transformation. I argue that practices like these cannot be handled by the choice/chance distinction relied on by those who would restrict religious minority accommodations. Embodied self- transformation necessarily means a change in personal identity and this means the religious believer cannot know if they will need religious accommodation when they begin their journey of piety. Even some luck egalitarians would find (...)
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  17. added 2015-04-24
    Cultural Claims and the Limits of Liberal Democracy.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (1):25-48.
    Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson’s theory of deliberative democracy has been widely influential and favorably viewed by many as a successful attempt to combine procedural and substantive aspects of democracy, while remaining quintessentially liberal. Although I admit that their conception is one of the strongest renditions of liberal democracy, I argue that it is inadequate in radically multicultural societies that house non-liberal cultural minorities. By focusing on Gutmann’s position on minority claims of culture in the liberal West, which follows from (...)
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  18. added 2015-02-26
    Autonomy, Force and Cultural Plurality.Monica Mookherjee - 2008 - Res Publica 14 (3):147-168.
    Within now prolific debates surrounding the compatibility of feminism and multiculturalism in liberal societies, the need arises for a normative conception of women’s self-determination that does not violate the self-understandings or values of women of different backgrounds and forms of life. With reference to the recent British debate about forced marriage, this article proposes an innovative approach to this problem in terms of the idea of ‘plural autonomy’. While the capacity for autonomy is plural, in the sense of varying across (...)
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  19. added 2015-02-26
    Autonomy and Equality in Cultural Perspective: Response to Sawitri Saharso.Clare Chambers - 2004 - Feminist Theory 5 (3):329-332.
    In “Feminist ethics, autonomy and the politics of multiculturalism”, Sawitri Saharso argues that the feminist concern to protect women’s autonomy legitimates and permits two practices which might otherwise seem antithetical to feminism: hymen repair surgery and sex-selective abortion. Sex-selective abortion is given pragmatic support: since it is rare in the Netherlands (the focus of Saharso’s paper), and since limitations on abortion would adversely affect the autonomy of women who sought an abortion for other reasons, Saharso concludes that Dutch law ought (...)
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  20. added 2015-02-26
    Can Traditional Ethical Theory Meet the Challenges of Feminism, Multiculturalism, and Environmentalism?Gerald Doppelt - 2002 - The Journal of Ethics 6 (4):383-405.
    This paper aims to evaluate thechallenges posed to traditional ethical theoryby the ethics of feminism, multiculturalism,and environmentalism. I argue that JamesSterba, in his Three Challenges to Ethics,provides a distorted assessment by trying toassimilate feminism, multiculturalism, andenvironmentalism into traditional utilitarian,virtue, and Kantian/Rawlsian ethics – which hethus seeks to rescue from their alleged``biases.'''' In the cases of feminism andmulticulturalism, I provide an alternativeaccount on which these new critical discourseschallenge the whole paradigm or conception ofethical inquiry embodied in the tradition.They embrace different questions, (...)
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  21. added 2015-02-26
    Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism.James P. Sterba - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    In this unique work, James P. Sterba argues that traditional ethics has yet to confront the three significant challenges posed by environmentalism, feminism, and multiculturalism. He maintains that while traditional ethics has been quite successful at dealing with the problems it faces, it has not addressed the possibility that its solutions to these problems are biased in favor of humans, men, and Western culture. In Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Sterba examines each of these challenges. In the (...)
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  22. added 2015-02-16
    Distinguished Lecture in Public Affairs: Is Feminism Bad for Multiculturalism?Chandran Kukathas - forthcoming - Public Affairs Quarterly.
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  23. added 2015-02-16
    Gender, Culture and the Law: Approaches to 'Honour Crimes' in the UK. [REVIEW]Rupa Reddy - 2008 - Feminist Legal Studies 16 (3):305-321.
    This article examines the debate on whether to analyse ‘honour crimes’ as gender-based violence, or as cultural tradition, and the effects of either stance on protection from and prevention of these crimes. In particular, the article argues that the categorisation of honour-related violence as primarily cultural ignores its position within the wider spectrum of gender violence, and may result in a number of unfortunate side-effects, including lesser protection of the rights of women within minority communities, and the stigmatisation of those (...)
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  24. added 2015-02-16
    Multiculturalism and Feminism: No Simple Question, No Simple Answers.Susan Moller Okin - 2005 - In Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.), Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity. Cambridge University Press.
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  25. added 2015-02-16
    New Challenges for Ethics Consultation: Combining Feminism, Multiculturalism, and Caring.Nancy S. Jecker - 2003 - Public Affairs Quarterly 17 (2):83-95.
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  26. added 2015-02-16
    Is Feminism Bad for Multiculturalism?Chandran Kukathas - 2001 - Public Affairs Quarterly 15 (2):83-98.
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  27. added 2015-02-16
    Multiculturalism and Feminism: Some Tensions.Susan Moller Okin - 1998 - In Stephen Everson (ed.), Ethics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 661-84.
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  28. added 2015-02-16
    Feminism and the Politics of Irreducible Differences: Multiculturalism/Ethnicity/Race.Sneja Gunew - 1993 - In Sneja Marina Gunew & Anna Yeatman (eds.), Feminism and the Politics of Difference. Allen & Unwin. pp. 1--19.
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  29. added 2014-03-30
    Multicultural Education and Feminist Ethics.Marilyn Friedman - 1995 - 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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  30. added 2014-03-29
    Feminism and Multiculturalism: Some Tensions.Susan Moller Okin - 1998 - Ethics 108 (4):661-684.
  31. added 2014-03-27
    Theorizing Feminism: A Cross-Cultural Exploration.Candrakalā Pāḍiyā - 2011 - Rawat Publications.
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  32. added 2014-03-26
    Feminism, Women's Human Rights, and Cultural Differences.Susan Moller Okin - 1998 - 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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  33. added 2014-03-26
    Introduction. Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy (Part I).Uma Narayan & Sandra Harding - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (2):1-6.
  34. added 2014-03-25
    Feminism, Multiculturalism, Oppression, and the State.Jeff Spinner‐Halev - 2001 - Ethics 112 (1):84-113.
  35. added 2014-03-24
    "Mistresses of Their Own Destiny ": Group Rights, Gender, and Realistic Rights of Exit.Susan Moller Okin - 2003 - In Randall R. Curren (ed.), Philosophy of Education: An Anthology. Blackwell. pp. 205-230.
  36. added 2014-03-23
    Feminism and Multiculturalism.Michelle Renee Matisons - 2003 - Social Theory and Practice 29 (4):655-664.
  37. added 2014-03-18
    Are Breast Implants Better Than Female Genital Mutilation? Autonomy, Gender Equality and Nussbaum's Political Liberalism.Clare Chambers - 2004 - 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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  38. added 2014-03-09
    Multiculturalism Without Culture.Anne Phillips - 2007 - 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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  39. added 2013-09-09
    Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity.Avigail Eisenberg & Jeff Spinner-Halev (eds.) - 2005 - cambridge university press.
  40. added 2013-09-09
    Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?Susan Moller Okin - 1999 - In Howard Cohen (ed.), Hypatia. pp. 228-232.
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  41. added 2013-07-17
    Challenging the Burqa Ban.Luara Ferracioli - 2013 - 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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  42. added 2012-04-30
    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.Jennifer Warriner - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (4):864-871.
  43. added 2011-11-24
    A Third World Feminist Defense of Multiculturalism.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2004 - 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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  44. added 2011-11-24
    Book Review: Susan Moller Okin. Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999. [REVIEW]Cynthia Kaufman - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (4):228-232.
  45. added 2011-10-11
    Ayelet Shachar: Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights. [REVIEW]Roland Pierik - 2004 - Political Theory 32 (4):585-589.
  46. added 2011-09-05
    The Ideal of Community and the Politics of Difference.Iris Marion Young - 1986 - Social Theory and Practice 12 (1):1-26.
  47. added 2011-04-17
    A Philosophical Analysis of the Problematical Feminist-Liberal Approaches to the Phenomenon of Multiculturalism. Down with Feminist Liberalism?Evelien Geerts - manuscript
    In this paper, two theories of feminist liberalism (Okin and Nussbaum) are evaluated from a multicultural-feminist perspective. This paper argues that Ayelet Shachar's multicultural feminism offers us a better theoretical philosophical model to cope with gender and multicultural issues than feminist comprehensive liberalism and political liberalism do.
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  48. added 2011-04-17
    An Analysis of Susan Moller Okin’s Problematic Approach to Multiculturalism. A Feminist Comprehensive Liberalism Gone Wrong.Evelien Geerts - manuscript
    In this paper, I looked into the debate between feminism and multiculturalism via the works of Susan Moller Okin, Will Kymlicka and Martha C. Nussbaum. After analyzing Susan Okin's position in "Is Multiculturalism Bad For Women?", I tried to locate Okin's problematic stance towards multiculturalism in her specific form of feminist comprehensive liberalism, whilst defending Nussbaum's less problematic version of political liberalism.
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