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Public opinion in recent years has soured on multiculturalism- due in large part to fears of radical Islam. In Multiculturalism without Culture- Anne Phillips contends that critics misrepresent culture as the explanation of everything individuals from minority and non-Western groups do. She puts forward a defense of multiculturalism that dispenses with notions of culture- instead placing individuals themselves at its core. Multiculturalism has been blamed for encouraging the oppression of women--forced marriages- female genital cutting- school girls wearing the hijab. Many critics opportunistically deploy gender equality to justify the retreat from multiculturalism- hijacking the equality agenda to perpetuate cultural stereotypes. Phillips informs her argument with the feminist insistence on recognizing women as agents- and defends her position using an unusually broad range of literature- including political theory- philosophy- feminist theory- law- and anthropology. She argues that critics and proponents alike exaggerate the unity- distinctness- and intractability of cultures- thereby encouraging a perception of men and women as dupes constrained by cultural dictates.Opponents of multiculturalism may think the argument against accommodating cultural difference is over and won- but they are wrong. Phillips believes multiculturalism still has an important role to play in achieving greater social equality. In this book- she offers a new way of addressing dilemmas of justice and equality in multiethnic- multicultural societies- intervening at this critical moment when so man...
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