Contextualizing Multiculturalism: A Three Dimensional Examination of Multicultural Claims
Journal of Law and Ethics of Human Rights, Vol. 1, p. 309, 2007
45 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2007
The emergence of multicultural theory and of claims of recognition by cultural, ethnic, and national minorities has brought to the forefront previously neglected aspects of the right to equality. However, when judged on their own, claims for recognition stand the risk of failing to fully capture, and even distorting, the meaning of equality. I suggest that in order to avoid this risk, multicultural claims need to be contextualized. Employing Nancy Fraser's framework of two dimensions of justice - recognition and redistribution - and adding a third dimension - political participation, I suggest a framework for a contextualized assessment of multicultural claims that allows us to properly and fully assess their validity. I then go on to employ this framework on the claims of Israel's two most significant cultural minorities - the Palestinian Arabs and the Ultra Orthodox Jews. I show how the use of the suggested framework helps to expose the considerable differences between these two cultural minorities, and consequently the notable difference in the merits of their claims, a difference that would have otherwise gone undetected.
Keywords: multiculturalism, equality, minorities, recognition, redistribution, political participation
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