Multiculturalism without Culture

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Public opinion has soured on multiculturalism in recent years. Accommodation of minority cultures is increasingly rejected, often on the grounds that it would damage gender equality. In Multiculturalism without Culture, Anne Phillips argues that much of the criticism rests on a misrepresentation of cultures as more extreme, in both their beliefs and their power over individuals, than is ever the case. She argues that this misrepresentation can itself harm women from minority cultural groups. Phillips puts forward...
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Overview

Public opinion has soured on multiculturalism in recent years. Accommodation of minority cultures is increasingly rejected, often on the grounds that it would damage gender equality. In Multiculturalism without Culture, Anne Phillips argues that much of the criticism rests on a misrepresentation of cultures as more extreme, in both their beliefs and their power over individuals, than is ever the case. She argues that this misrepresentation can itself harm women from minority cultural groups. Phillips puts forward a defense of multiculturalism that dispenses with reified notions of culture, instead placing individuals themselves at its core.
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Editorial Reviews

PsycCRITIQUES
[T]he volume is well worth the effort of thoughtfully considering the discussions offered. Individuals wanting to explore multicultural issues beyond cultural sensitivity will relish the in-depth analyses provided. Psychologists wanting to explore perspectives from other fields (law, sociology, anthropology) on the topic will appreciate finding the scholarly discussion in one place.
— Mary Dugan
Feminist Review - Payal Patel
In this illuminating and intelligently written book, Anne Phillips stresses the need to revise holistic and determinist notions of 'culture' that have played a role in perpetuating racial and gender stereotypes within multiethnic and multicultural societies....Drawing from an impressive breadth of literature, ranging from feminism, law, anthropology to philosophy and political theory, Phillips provides numerous case studies to highlight how women in particular, are disadvantaged by multicultural policies and cultural labeling....This is a superb and deeply relevant contribution to current debates and various fields of study.
Choice - P.T. Lenard
This important text raises two main issues. First, it asks advocates of multiculturalism to reject the reified concept of culture on which their arguments often rely, and to embrace instead 'multiculturalism without culture'...Second, the book demands recognition that everyone is a member of culture...it is frequently mistakenly assumed that only members of minority cultures are molded by their cultures.
Political Studies Review - Claudia Franziska Bruhwiler
Phillips' book is . . . a worthwhile read for scholars, students and policy makers alike: thanks to its lucid style, the thorough review of existing theories and approaches and especially due to the numerous examples, it provides an accessible and thought-provoking lecture.
Feminist Legal Studies - Sonya Fernandez
Phillips' work is invaluable to anyone wishing to engage with issues posed by cultural diversity yet frustrated with existing theoretical and discursive frameworks for doing so. Her careful analysis and use of varied examples provides much scope for thought and development and leaves one with the hope that there is a future for multiculturalism.
British Journal of Sociology - Clare Chambers
Multiculturalism without Culture is a provocative book: Phillips intends that neither multiculturalists nor cosmopolitans should have an easy ride. Both sets of theorists, however, will find things to agree with as well as to contest, making the book an intriguing challenge to prevailing normative approaches todiversity. As a further strength, Multiculturalism without Culture describes and discusses a wealth of difficult multicultural issues, often in the form of specific legal. . . . It therefore provides a good source for anyone wanting to know more about the current state of multicultural politics and law.
PsycCRITIQUES - Mary Dugan
[T]he volume is well worth the effort of thoughtfully considering the discussions offered. Individuals wanting to explore multicultural issues beyond cultural sensitivity will relish the in-depth analyses provided. Psychologists wanting to explore perspectives from other fields (law, sociology, anthropology) on the topic will appreciate finding the scholarly discussion in one place.
H-Net Reviews - Anna Yeatman
This is a very good book written in Anne Phillips's inimitable conceptually precise, theoretically acute, fair-minded, and plain English style. Phillips operates as a political theorist who seeks to clarify the quagmire of issues that beset contemporary multiculturalism.
Cambridge Journals - Suzanne Dovi
This is an impressive and timely book. . . . Phillips' treatment of this complex and important topic exemplifies the very best of feminist critical thinking.
From the Publisher
"In this illuminating and intelligently written book, Anne Phillips stresses the need to revise holistic and determinist notions of 'culture' that have played a role in perpetuating racial and gender stereotypes within multiethnic and multicultural societies....Drawing from an impressive breadth of literature, ranging from feminism, law, anthropology to philosophy and political theory, Phillips provides numerous case studies to highlight how women in particular, are disadvantaged by multicultural policies and cultural labeling....This is a superb and deeply relevant contribution to current debates and various fields of study."—Payal Patel, Feminist Review

"This important text raises two main issues. First, it asks advocates of multiculturalism to reject the reified concept of culture on which their arguments often rely, and to embrace instead 'multiculturalism without culture'...Second, the book demands recognition that everyone is a member of culture...it is frequently mistakenly assumed that only members of minority cultures are molded by their cultures."—P.T. Lenard, Choice

"Phillips' book is . . . a worthwhile read for scholars, students and policy makers alike: thanks to its lucid style, the thorough review of existing theories and approaches and especially due to the numerous examples, it provides an accessible and thought-provoking lecture."—Claudia Franziska Bruhwiler, Political Studies Review

"Phillips' work is invaluable to anyone wishing to engage with issues posed by cultural diversity yet frustrated with existing theoretical and discursive frameworks for doing so. Her careful analysis and use of varied examples provides much scope for thought and development and leaves one with the hope that there is a future for multiculturalism."—Sonya Fernandez, Feminist Legal Studies

"Multiculturalism without Culture is a provocative book: Phillips intends that neither multiculturalists nor cosmopolitans should have an easy ride. Both sets of theorists, however, will find things to agree with as well as to contest, making the book an intriguing challenge to prevailing normative approaches todiversity. As a further strength, Multiculturalism without Culture describes and discusses a wealth of difficult multicultural issues, often in the form of specific legal. . . . It therefore provides a good source for anyone wanting to know more about the current state of multicultural politics and law."—Clare Chambers, British Journal of Sociology

"[T]he volume is well worth the effort of thoughtfully considering the discussions offered. Individuals wanting to explore multicultural issues beyond cultural sensitivity will relish the in-depth analyses provided. Psychologists wanting to explore perspectives from other fields (law, sociology, anthropology) on the topic will appreciate finding the scholarly discussion in one place."—Mary Dugan, PsycCRITIQUES

"This is a very good book written in Anne Phillips's inimitable conceptually precise, theoretically acute, fair-minded, and plain English style. Phillips operates as a political theorist who seeks to clarify the quagmire of issues that beset contemporary multiculturalism."—Anna Yeatman, H-Net Reviews

"This is an impressive and timely book. . . . Phillips' treatment of this complex and important topic exemplifies the very best of feminist critical thinking."—Suzanne Dovi, Cambridge Journals

Feminist Review
In this illuminating and intelligently written book, Anne Phillips stresses the need to revise holistic and determinist notions of 'culture' that have played a role in perpetuating racial and gender stereotypes within multiethnic and multicultural societies....Drawing from an impressive breadth of literature, ranging from feminism, law, anthropology to philosophy and political theory, Phillips provides numerous case studies to highlight how women in particular, are disadvantaged by multicultural policies and cultural labeling....This is a superb and deeply relevant contribution to current debates and various fields of study.
— Payal Patel
Choice
This important text raises two main issues. First, it asks advocates of multiculturalism to reject the reified concept of culture on which their arguments often rely, and to embrace instead 'multiculturalism without culture'...Second, the book demands recognition that everyone is a member of culture...it is frequently mistakenly assumed that only members of minority cultures are molded by their cultures.
— P.T. Lenard
Political Studies Review
Phillips' book is . . . a worthwhile read for scholars, students and policy makers alike: thanks to its lucid style, the thorough review of existing theories and approaches and especially due to the numerous examples, it provides an accessible and thought-provoking lecture.
— Claudia Franziska Bruhwiler
Feminist Legal Studies
Phillips' work is invaluable to anyone wishing to engage with issues posed by cultural diversity yet frustrated with existing theoretical and discursive frameworks for doing so. Her careful analysis and use of varied examples provides much scope for thought and development and leaves one with the hope that there is a future for multiculturalism.
— Sonya Fernandez
British Journal of Sociology
Multiculturalism without Culture is a provocative book: Phillips intends that neither multiculturalists nor cosmopolitans should have an easy ride. Both sets of theorists, however, will find things to agree with as well as to contest, making the book an intriguing challenge to prevailing normative approaches todiversity. As a further strength, Multiculturalism without Culture describes and discusses a wealth of difficult multicultural issues, often in the form of specific legal. . . . It therefore provides a good source for anyone wanting to know more about the current state of multicultural politics and law.
— Clare Chambers
H-Net Reviews
This is a very good book written in Anne Phillips's inimitable conceptually precise, theoretically acute, fair-minded, and plain English style. Phillips operates as a political theorist who seeks to clarify the quagmire of issues that beset contemporary multiculturalism.
— Anna Yeatman
Cambridge Journals
This is an impressive and timely book. . . . Phillips' treatment of this complex and important topic exemplifies the very best of feminist critical thinking.
— Suzanne Dovi
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691129440
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/2007
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Anne Phillips is Professor of Political and Gender Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of "The Politics of Presence" and"Which Equalities Matter?"
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Multiculturalism without Culture 11

Chapter 2 Between Culture and Cosmos 42

Chapter 3 What's Wrong with Cultural Defence? 73

Chapter 4 Autonomy, Coercion, and Constraint 100

Chapter 5 Exit and Voice 133

Chapter 6 Multiculturalism without Groups? 158

Bibliography 181

Index 191

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