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Multiculturalism and feminism

[journal article]

Reitman, Oonagh

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Abstract The popular perception of feminism and multiculturalism as incompatible is strongly rejected; in addition, the position that feminism and multiculturalism are always compatible is challenged. An overview of contemporary definitions of feminism and multiculturalism is presented, demonstrating that neither theoretical perspective should be outright rejected. Nevertheless, it is stressed that feminists should resist efforts to balance feminism and multiculturalism since the latter frequently supports the preservation of patriarchal structures within minority cultures; indeed, specific problems with Will Kymlicka's (nd) and Ayelet Shachar's (nd) respective attempts to achieve a feminist-multiculturalist balance with regard to minority interests and rights are highlighted. Consequently, a synonymous understanding of the connection between feminism and multiculturalism, one that stresses feminist principles when dealing with minority patriarchies and attempts to reconfigure prevailing notions of feminism and multiculturalism, is advanced; potential objections to the proposed feminist-multiculturalist paradigm are also addressed.
Classification Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 216-247
Journal Ethnicities, 5 (2005) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)