Culture and Equality

Culture and Equality : An Egalitarian Critique of Multiculturalism

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All major western countries today contain groups that differ in their religious beliefs, customary practices or ideas about the right way in which to live. How should public policy respond to this diversity? In this important new work, Brian Barry challenges the currently orthodox answer and develops a powerful restatement of an egalitarian liberalism for the twenty-first century. Until recently it was assumed without much question that cultural diversity could best be accommodated by leaving cultural minorities free to associate in pursuit of their distinctive ends within the limits imposed by a common framework of laws. This solution is rejected by an influential school of political theorists, among whom some of the best known are William Galston, Will Kymlicka, Bhikhu Parekh, Charles Taylor and Iris Marion Young. According to them, this 'difference-blind' conception of liberal equality fails to deliver either liberty or equal treatment. In its place, they propose that the state should 'recognize' group identities, by granting groups exemptions from certain laws, publicly 'affirming' their value, and by providing them with special privileges or subsidies. In Culture and Equality, Barry offers an incisive critique of these arguments and suggests that theorists of multiculturism tend to misdiagnose the problems of minority groups. Often, these are not rooted in culture, and multiculturalist policies may actually stand in the way of universalistic measures that would be genuinely more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 588g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • notes, index
  • 0745622275
  • 9780745622279

Table of contents

Preface PART I: MULTICULTURALISM AND EQUAL TREATMENT Chapter One: Introduction Losing Our WayThe Flight from EnlightenmentA Brief Overview Chapter Two: The Strategy Of PrivatizationCultural DiversityPrivatization and PluralismEqual TreatmentThe Rule-and-Exemption ApproachA Pragmatic Case For ExemptionsCulture And Job Descrimination Chapter Three: The Dynamics of Identity: Assimilation, Acculturation and DifferenceVive la DiffUrence? Liberalism and the 'Ideal Of Assimilation'Assimilation: Good, Bad or Indifferent? Varieties of National IdentityNational Identity in PracticeThe Dodo's DictumThe 'Myth of Merit'Language and Opportunity PART II: MULTICULTURALISM AND GROUPS Chapter Four: Theories Of Group RightsThe Concept Of A Group RightLiberalism And AutonomyLiberalism And DiversityCultural Relativism And TolerationOutline Of A Theory Of Group Rights Chapter Five: Liberalism And Illiberal ReligionsThe Claims Of Free AssociationAn Alternative ApproachThe Limits of TolerationIn Defence Of 'Asymmetry'The Amish And The StateAre Amish Communities Voluntary Associations? Chapter Six: The Public Stake in the Arts and EducationThe Limits of Laissez-FaireCan Liberalism Cope With Children? The Locus Of Decision-MakingFunctional EducationEducation For LivingSocietal Interests In EducationMulticultural EducationParental Rights In Education PART III: MULTICULTURALISM AND EGALITARIANISM Chapter Seven: The Abuse Of 'Culture"It's Part Of My Culture'Up The Creek In The Black CanoeThe Equal Value Of VulturesDoes Equal Treatment Require Equal Value? The Limits Of ConventionalismThe Limits Of Universalism Chapter Eight: The Politics Of Multiculturalism The Curious Political Success Of MulticulturalismMulticulturalism Versus DemocracyIf Multiculturalism Is The Answer, What Was The Question? Multiculturalism Versus EqualityNotesIndexshow more

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49 ratings
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1 10% (5)
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