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Found in Multiculturalism

Acceptance or Challenge?

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Edited By Izabela Handzlik and Lukasz Sorokowski

This book aims to assemble a variety of perspectives that have shaped the development of multicultural studies over the last years, and which today attempt at comprising the main contending lines of approach to both teaching and research within this rapidly expanding area of inquiry. Conceived as a panorama of diverse multicultural manifestations, it seeks to respond to the needs of a readership sharing an undivided interest in the labyrinthine nature of multiculturalism. In doing so, it endeavours to make the convoluted debates underlying the foundations of the social sciences and humanities more accessible to the uninitiated and is aimed at both academics specialising in the area and readers eager to broaden their horizons.
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Is multiculturalism bad for women, still? Persisting dilemmas in cultural and religious accommodation in Europe

Introduction

Extract



Abstract: Over the last decade, there has been an increasingly prominent role accorded to the argument on women’s equality in the discussion of minorities’ cultural and religious practices. Yet the way women’s equality claims are being discussed has given reason for some concern regarding the racist and xenophobic manipulation of vindications of women’s equality. This essay, on the other hand, is driven by the necessity to address how the construction of the dichotomy “feminism vs. multiculturalism” conditions the feminist struggle (and not only the anti-racist one). In order to do this, I propose to look back and revisit some of the arguments of Susan Moller Okin’s famous dilemma, to assess their transformation into our contemporary debates, and to address some gaps in the critique to Okin that could prove useful for confronting dilemmas faced by feminists and women’s rights activists in multicultural and racist contexts, such as today’s European societies.

Keywords: Feminism vs. multiculturalism, Okin’s dilemma, women’s equality, autonomy, religious accommodation

During the last decade, there has been an increasingly prominent role accorded to the argument on women’s equality in the discussion of minorities’ cultural and religious practices. Yet, the way women’s equality claims are being discussed gives reason for some concern. Most of this concern focuses on the racist and xenophobic manipulation of vindications of women’s equality, to which I shall refer briefly. However, it would be remiss not to remember that women are very frequently both the battleground and the exchange objects...

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