Multiculturalism without culture

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Multiculturalism without Culture

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Multiculturalism without Culture
Anne Phillips


Copyright 2007 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 3 Market Place, Woodstock,Oxfordshire OX20 1SY All Rights Reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Phillips, Anne, 1950– Multiculturalism without culture / Anne Phillips. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-691-12944-0 (alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-691-12944-4 (alk. paper) 1. Feminism. 2. Multiculturalism. 3. Cultural conflict. 4. Sex discrimination against women. I. Title. HQ1161.P4522007 305.4809182’1—dc22 2006025980 British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This book has been composed in Sabon Printed on acid-free paper. Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For Declan and Mark

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Acknowledgments INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE Multiculturalism without CultureCHAPTER TWO Between Culture and Cosmos CHAPTER THREE What’s Wrong with Cultural Defence? CHAPTER FOUR Autonomy, Coercion, and Constraint CHAPTER FIVE Exit and Voice CHAPTER SIX Multiculturalism without Groups? Bibliography Index

ix 1 11 42 73 100 133 158 181 191

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THE WORK for this book was supported by two grants from the NuffieldFoundation, research leave from the London School of Economics, and a period as adjunct professor at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. I am grateful to all of these organisations. The ideas evolved over a number of years, and I became indebted to many people en route. I particularly wish to thank Moira Dustin and Oonagh Reitman, who worked with me on the firstNuffield-funded project, Sexual and Cultural Equality; Sawitri Saharso, whose writings on autonomy were a major spur to my thinking, and who read and commented on an early draft of the book; and all the contributors to the two conferences on Gender Equality, Cultural Diversity: European Comparisons and Lessons, held in London and Amsterdam, that Sawitri and I organised. I also benefited enormously from myparticipation in the Minorities within Minorities conference at the University of Nebraska in 2002, and the Sexual Justice, Cultural Justice conference at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver in 2004, as well as from helpful questioning in a number of seminars over the years. My thanks, in addition, to the late and much missed Iris Young and an anonymous reader for comments on the firstdraft, and to Ian Malcolm for his expert editing. Some portions of the book have appeared elsewhere in different forms. I am grateful to the publishers for permission to make use of the following material:
“What Is Culture?” in Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice, ed. Barbara Arneil, Monique Deveaux, Rita Dhamoon, and Avigail Eisenberg. (London: Routledge, 2006), for some of the material in chapters 1 and2. “When Culture Means Gender: Issues of Cultural Defence in the British Courts,” Modern Law Review 66 (2003): 510–31, for some of the material in chapter 3. (with Moira Dustin) “UK Initiatives on Forced Marriage: Regulation, Dialogue, and Exit,” Political Studies 52 (October 2004): 531–51, for material on forced marriage scattered throughout the book.

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THIS BOOK AROSE out of two preoccupations. The first was my feeling that feminism was becoming prone to paralysis by cultural difference, with anxieties about cultural imperialism engendering a kind of relativism that made it difficult to represent any belief or practice as oppressive to women or at odds...