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Gender and Culture
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The idea that respect for cultural diversity conflicts with gender equality is now a staple of both public and academic debate. Yet discussion of these tensions is marred by exaggerated talk of cultural difference, leading to ethnic reductionism, cultural stereotyping, and a hierarchy of traditional and modern. In this volume, Anne Phillips firmly rejects the notion that culture might justify the oppression of women, but also queries the stereotypical binaries that have represented people from ethnocultural minorities as peculiarly resistant to gender equality. The questions addressed include the relationship between universalism and cultural relativism, how to distinguish valid generalisation from either gender or cultural essentialism, and how to recognise women as agents rather than captives of culture. The discussions are illuminated by reference to legal cases and policy interventions, with a particular focus on forced marriage and cultural defence.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi 1 Introduction 1 2 Multiculturalism, universalism and the claims of democracy 16 3 Dilemmas of gender and culture: the judge, the democrat and the political activist 38 4 What is culture ? 57 5 What s wrong with essentialism? 69 6 When culture means gender: issues of cultural defence in the English courts 83 7 Free to decide for oneself 107 8 Consent, autonomy and coercion: forced marriage, public policy and the courts 124 Notes 142 Bibliography 157 Index 165

About the Author

Anne Phillips is Professor of Political and Gender Theory AT London School of Economics and Political Science.

Reviews

"[Phillips] draws attention to a whole new set of questions aboutthe relationship between gender and culture and provides directionsfor future research in this area." Political Studies Review "Anne Phillips's work demonstrates the exhilaration andimportance of sustained critique. This insightful work is thelatest contribution in her deft and decisive critiques ofmulticulturalism. It lays out the moral, philosophical andpractical grounds at stake in tackling the intractable Gordian knotof gender and culture. It raises all our hopes and forces us torethink the most settled of positions." Henrietta Moore, London School of Economics

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