American Cultural Pluralism And Law / Edition 3

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This new edition of Norgren and Nanda's classic updates their examination of the intersection of American cultural pluralism and law. They document and analyze legal challenges to the existing social order raised by many cultural groups, among them, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, homeless persons, immigrants, disabled persons, and Rastafarians. In addition, they examine such current controversies as the culture wars in American schools and the impact of post-9/11 security measures on Arab and Muslim individuals and communities. The book also discusses more traditional challenges to the American legal system by women, homosexuals, African Americans, Latinos, Japanese Americans, and the Mormons and the Amish.

The new chapters and updated analyses in this Third Edition reflect recent, relevant court cases dealing with culture, race, gender, religion, and personal status. Drawing on court materials, state and federal legislation, and legal ethnographies, the text analyzes the ongoing tension between, on the one hand, the need of different groups for cultural autonomy and equal rights, and on the other, the necessity of national unity and security. The text integrates the authors' commentary with case descriptions set in historical, cultural, political, and economic context. While the authors' thesis is that law is an instrument of social policy that has generally furthered an assimilationist agenda in American society, they also point out how in different periods, under different circumstances, and with regard to different groups, law has also some opportunity for cultural autonomy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The new edition of this reference handbook will appeal to the general reader and graduate students interested in multicultural studies, law, political science, and interdisciplinary studies. The volume's main purpose is to examine the role of the law within a culturally pluralistic society, defined as a society that accepts many minority groups and cultural traditions." - Multicultural Review

"Every potential adoptor will, inevitably, dissent from some of the formulations and arguments in American Cultural Pluralism and Law. It is simply that kind of text book. This also means that its ambitious and thoughtful materials, especially as revised for this third edition, should provide instructors with a broad platform on which to build a course of their own." - H-Net Reviews

Analyzes the negotiation between law and the many subcultures that make up American society. Sections on race; religion; gender; and community discuss subjects such as law and Native Hawaiians; religious practice and drug use; gays and the law; and the homeless. For students and scholars of law and American studies. This second edition contains four new chapters, plus expanded material in other chapters. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275986995
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 324,695
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JILL NORGREN is Professor Emeritus of Government at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. Her research has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, NEH, the ACLS, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. She has also published (with Petra T. Shattuck) Partial Justice: Federal Indian Law in a Liberal Constitutional System; The Cherokee Cases; and a biography of pioneering American lawyer and presidential candidate Belva Lockwood. She is currently writing on the topics of Native American law and the legal treatment of women.

SERENA NANDA is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is the author (with Rich Warms) of Cultural Anthropology, a widely used undergraduate text now in its 9th edition; Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India; Gender Diversity: Crosscultural Variations; and Forty Perfect New York Days: Walks and Rambles in and around the City. Her current work is on the politics of cultural identity.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: E Pluribus Unum?

Race and Ethnicity

Native Americans, Land, and Law

Trouble in Paradise: Native Hawaiian and Puerto Rican Sovereignty

African Americans: The Fight for Justice and Equality

Immigration: Latinos and Law


Religious Belief and Practice: The Mormons

Religious Belief and Practice: The Amish

The Culture Wars in American Schools

Religion and the Use of Illicit Drugs: The Rastafari and the Native American Church


Women's Nature, Women's Lives, Women's Rights

Family Values: Gays and Marriage

Community and Citizenship

Fighting Prejudice: Persons with Disabilities and Homeless Persons

100 Percent American: Who Qualifies in a National Emergency? Japanese Americans and the Law

Cultural Pluralism and the Rule of Law Post-9/11

Selected Bibliography


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