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by Joshua Cohen,Matthew Howard,Susan Moller Okin
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Social Sciences
  • Author:
    Joshua Cohen,Matthew Howard,Susan Moller Okin
  • ISBN:
    0691004315
  • ISBN13:
    978-0691004310
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Princeton University Press (July 19, 1999)
  • Pages:
    152 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Social Sciences
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1906 kb
  • ePUB format
    1358 kb
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    1575 kb
  • Rating:
    4.3
  • Votes:
    935
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For instance, Olin talks about genital cutting and how it violates women's rights. She tends to essentialize other cultures by their patriarchal public face without delving into the heterodox or dissident voices within those cultures.

Okin, Susan Moller; Nussbaum, Martha; Cohen, Joshua; Howard, Matthew (1999). Is multiculturalism bad for women?. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Originally an essay (pdf). Okin, Susan Moller; Mansbridge, Jane (2005), "Feminism", in Goodin, Robert . Petit, Philip (ed., A companion to contemporary political philosophy, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 269–290, ISBN 9781405130653. Okin, Susan Moller (January 1989). Reason and feeling in thinking about justice".

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In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these . Okin opens by arguing that some group rights can, in fact, endanger women.

In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these unsettling questions in a provocative, passionate, and illuminating debate. She points, for example, to the French government's giving thousands of male immigrants special permission to bring multiple wives into the country, despite French laws against polygamy and the wives' own bitter opposition to the practice.

In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and .

In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these unsettling questions in a provocative, passionate, and illuminating debate.

In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world’s leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these unsettling questions in a provocative, passionate, and illuminating debate. She points, for example, to the French government’s giving thousands of male immigrants special permission to bring multiple wives into the country, despite French laws against polygamy and the wives’ own bitter opposition to the practice.

Polygamy, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, punishing women for being raped, differential access for men and women to health care and education, unequal rights of ownership, assembly, and political participation, unequal vulnerability to violence. These practices and conditions are standard in some parts of the world. Do demands for multiculturalism--and certain minority group rights in particular--make them more likely to continue and to spread to liberal democracies? Are there fundamental conflicts between our commitment to gender equity and our increasing desire to respect the customs of minority cultures or religions? In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these unsettling questions in a provocative, passionate, and illuminating debate.

Okin opens by arguing that some group rights can, in fact, endanger women. She points, for example, to the French government's giving thousands of male immigrants special permission to bring multiple wives into the country, despite French laws against polygamy and the wives' own bitter opposition to the practice. Okin argues that if we agree that women should not be disadvantaged because of their sex, we should not accept group rights that permit oppressive practices on the grounds that they are fundamental to minority cultures whose existence may otherwise be threatened.

In reply, some respondents reject Okin's position outright, contending that her views are rooted in a moral universalism that is blind to cultural difference. Others quarrel with Okin's focus on gender, or argue that we should be careful about which group rights we permit, but not reject the category of group rights altogether. Okin concludes with a rebuttal, clarifying, adjusting, and extending her original position. These incisive and accessible essays--expanded from their original publication in Boston Review and including four new contributions--are indispensable reading for anyone interested in one of the most contentious social and political issues today.

The diverse contributors, in addition to Okin, are Azizah al-Hibri, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Homi Bhabha, Sander Gilman, Janet Halley, Bonnie Honig, Will Kymlicka, Martha Nussbaum, Bhikhu Parekh, Katha Pollitt, Robert Post, Joseph Raz, Saskia Sassen, Cass Sunstein, and Yael Tamir.


Ballagar
For me I liked that it seemed brand new, it hadn't been read thouroghly anyway. However there was a little friendly star drawn on one page which was only to please me :) I don't know how others would like it but I loved it :)
Monin
It's difficult to review a book like this. It's set up as a lead essay (by Okin), followed by several short response essays by other public intellectuals, and finally a reply essay by Okin. I guess to be successful such a book should have at least an interesting lead essay, and then a diversity of responses that span the possibilities.

The lead essay is indeed fertile for commentary, if quite imperfect on its own. Okin is entirely correct to note a tension between multiculturalism and feminism, but her navigation of this tension is not very deft. She tends to essentialize other cultures by their patriarchal public face without delving into the heterodox or dissident voices within those cultures.

A number of responses correct this mistake, however, so I'm quite happy with the book overall. The contributions by Martha Nussbaum, Joseph Raz, and Cass Sunstein all treat the fundamental tension with the care its irreducible difficulty requires. (Nussbaums's contribution is even titled "A Plea for Difficulty"). I was also impressed by Azizah al-Hibri's response, which was a defense of feminist interpretations of Islam. Learning about al-Hibri is probably the most valuable thing I'm taking away from the book.

Some of the responses were not so great, but this is to be expected from a book like this. Some were downright absurd. For a good lol, e.g., read Sander Gilman's response, which argued among other things, that clitoridectomy isn't detrimental to women's sexuality because not all sexual pleasure comes from the sex organs.
Tiv
In this slim volume of essays collected from the pages of the Boston Review, a cross-section of contemporary intellectual life is represented in debate over Okin's central thesis that the values of multiculturalism and feminism are at odds (at some level). The hinge of Okin's argument is that feminism is universalist in intent, arguing that all women, by virtue of their being women (or being human), are entitled to certain rights and freedoms; multiculturalism, on the other hand, is often used to support cultural difference, and is local in scope. Conflict emerges when we encounter cultures in which women are regarded as lower in social standing than men, and thus denied rights and freedoms that feminists have (traditionally) held in esteem -- the right to vote, assemble peacefully, earn income, etc. (see Martha Nussbaum's work in "Sex and Social Justice" and "Women and Human Development" for a fuller exposition of a feminist conception of rights). In Okin's estimation, multiculturalists back off from criticism, arguing instead that different cultures must be respected, and indeed cannot be judged because they do not share the same cultural foundation as we (i.e., Westerners) do. Hence, for Okin, a committed feminist, multiculturalism is often bad for women.
This is a contentious and controversial argument, but essential (I believe) in that it forces Western liberal intellectuals to confront the simple fact that certain ways of thinking and being cannot easily coexist. The papers included in this book reflect the divisiveness of Okin's argument, with some coming down squarely on her side, and others arguing that this represents only another attempt at Western intellectual imperialism. Enough diversity in opinions is presented to give readers much to think about and debate.
Inabel
This book is designed around the first essay, "Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?" The premise of the essay is that liberalism has long advocated both multiculturalism and feminism as philosophies not in conflict with one another. However, what is the obligation of a liberal democracy to cultural minorities that oppress women within their culture? Can the needs of women and minorities be met or are their respective agendas mutually exclusive to one another? Does the sovereignty of a larger state supercede that of a smaller state and to which group does the majority owe its protection- minority cultures or individuals (women)?
These are some of the questions addressed by this book. The first essay asserts that the goals of multiculturalism and feminism are not compatible and that by protecting one, the other is sacrificed. It is a provocative idea and one not addressed enough by political theorists, feminists, or policy specialists. From it, one discovers that there is an inherent tension to these two schools of liberal philosophy (although there are some very good critics of Okin's ideas). See writers like Kymlicka, Nussbaum, or Habermas (to name a few).
If the intricacies and contradictions of liberal philosophy and feminism interest you, then you should try this book. It is very short and can be read in one sitting. It's essentially a collection of essays from a number of theorists reflecting a variety of perspectives on this specific topic. Thought-provoking and worth the effort to take a gander.