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Liberalism and Culture: The legitimacy of the "Cultural Defense"

Sivén, Christa LU (2009) STVM11 20091
Department of Political Science
Abstract
The thesis examines selected “cultural conflicts” that can be said to exist in majority/minority relations within the context of Western liberal democratic societies. A normative analysis regarding when it is justified for a minority to claim certain rights with reference to culture is conducted. Four controversial examples are included: The ban of religious symbols in public schools in France (the Muslim headscarf being the specific symbol discussed), polygamy, female circumcision and underage/child marriage. The examples presented are treated as cultural traditions that serve to exemplify how the normative guidelines in the study regarding the “cultural defense” can be applied in practice. The value hierarchy in the study is constructed... (More)
The thesis examines selected “cultural conflicts” that can be said to exist in majority/minority relations within the context of Western liberal democratic societies. A normative analysis regarding when it is justified for a minority to claim certain rights with reference to culture is conducted. Four controversial examples are included: The ban of religious symbols in public schools in France (the Muslim headscarf being the specific symbol discussed), polygamy, female circumcision and underage/child marriage. The examples presented are treated as cultural traditions that serve to exemplify how the normative guidelines in the study regarding the “cultural defense” can be applied in practice. The value hierarchy in the study is constructed using a theoretical framework based on liberal theory. The central premise that the study is based on is the liberal principle of freedom, and the importance of culture for said freedom. A central argument in the study is that acceptance of cultural variation is crucial in every society with the ambition to call itself liberal; it is also evident in the study that sometimes when it comes to cultural dilemmas in the West, the concept of “Western values” have been inaccurately equalized with the values of liberalism. (Less)
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author
Sivén, Christa LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVM11 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Liberalism, Political Science, Normative Analysis, Culture, Cultural Conflict
language
English
id
1398736
date added to LUP
2009-06-23 09:25:51
date last changed
2009-06-23 09:25:51
@misc{1398736,
  abstract     = {The thesis examines selected “cultural conflicts” that can be said to exist in majority/minority relations within the context of Western liberal democratic societies. A normative analysis regarding when it is justified for a minority to claim certain rights with reference to culture is conducted. Four controversial examples are included: The ban of religious symbols in public schools in France (the Muslim headscarf being the specific symbol discussed), polygamy, female circumcision and underage/child marriage. The examples presented are treated as cultural traditions that serve to exemplify how the normative guidelines in the study regarding the “cultural defense” can be applied in practice. The value hierarchy in the study is constructed using a theoretical framework based on liberal theory. The central premise that the study is based on is the liberal principle of freedom, and the importance of culture for said freedom. A central argument in the study is that acceptance of cultural variation is crucial in every society with the ambition to call itself liberal; it is also evident in the study that sometimes when it comes to cultural dilemmas in the West, the concept of “Western values” have been inaccurately equalized with the values of liberalism.},
  author       = {Sivén, Christa},
  keyword      = {Liberalism,Political Science,Normative Analysis,Culture,Cultural Conflict},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Liberalism and Culture: The legitimacy of the "Cultural Defense"},
  year         = {2009},
}