The Cultural Defense

The Cultural Defense

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In what ways and to what extent should cultural background be taken into consideration in response to legal problems? This study of the topic provides a comprehensive overview of the debate surrounding the admissibility of cultural evidence in the courtroom. Documenting an extraordinary range of cases in which individuals have attempted to invoke a cultural defense, this book provides an in-depth look at the complexities of invoking cultural arguments in the diverse bodies of law under which the cases fall. Cases considered include homicide and rape prosecutions, child abuse cases, drug use cases, the treatment of animals, and custody battles. Disputing contemporary practices, the author contends that the cultural defense should, in both criminal and civil matters, be given formal more

Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.2 x 33mm | 748.44g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195154029
  • 9780195154023

Review quote

"This book will be the definitive treatment of law's complex relation to culture for a long time to come"--Choice"Alison Dundes Renteln's The Cultural Defense is an extraordinarily effective combination of careful anthropology and incisive legal analysis. I am familiar with no other work that presents such a formidable case for revision of the evasions denying a place to minority culture in our legal universe." -- Judge John T. Noonan, Jr., author of Narrowing the Nation's Power"Sharp and comprehensive Renteln's work stands as an insightful and extraordinary productive inquiry into the relationship between US law and culturality."--Anthropological Quarterly"The Cultural Defense integrates an abstract theoretical discussion of cultural pluralism with a close and sensitive analysis of a wide range of concrete cases. The result is an illuminating account of the nature, logic and limits of culture as a legitimate basis of differential treatment." -- Bhikhu Parekh, author of Rethinking Multiculturalism"Renteln presents a well-reasoned and spirited call for courts to recognize 'the cultural defense.' No reader will come away without being thoroughly stimulated." -- Bert Lockwood, Distinguished Service Professor, University of Cincinnati College of Law"Renteln weaves fascinating stories of the intersection of law and diverse cultures into a rich narrative that forces one to confront anew the complexities of administering justice in a multicultural context. Renteln's analysis is rigorous, nuanced, and ultimately persuasive." -- G. Alan Tarr, author of Understanding State Constitutions"Professor Renteln has ably questioned the adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," as a rule for applying the law equally. Her well-informed argument for a partial cultural defense (and offense in civil litigation) echoes the jus gentium of the Roman Empire itself. The case law is fascinating." -- James A.R.Nafziger, Thomas B. Stoel Professor, Willamette University College of Lawshow more

About Alison Renteln

Alison Dundes Renteln is Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at the University of Southern California and Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. An expert on cultural rights, her publications include International Human Rights: Universalism Versus Relativism (1990) and Folk Law: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Lex Non Scripta (co-edited with Alan Dundes) (1994). She holds a Ph.D in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Southern more

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8 ratings
2.75 out of 5 stars
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4 12% (1)
3 50% (4)
2 38% (3)
1 0% (0)
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