Value Conflicts Revisited: Gender Equality and Gestures of Respect
32 Pages Posted: 19 May 2022
Date Written: May 16, 2022
This note calls attention to open value conflicts in questions of Muslim minority inclusion in contemporary liberal democracies. Open value conflicts differ from closed ones in that their resolution neither demands conformity by the minority community nor that members of the majority community give up their convictions. We focus on handshaking controversies that appear to pit gender equality against religious freedom in a closed value conflict logic. Results in the control condition of experiments embedded in a representative survey in Germany are consistent with this closed logic. Support for compulsory handshaking among non-Muslims is widespread. However, introducing a substitute gesture of respect—placing the hand on the heart—elicits dramatic drops in calls for conformity. Conflicts over handshaking are thus open to resolution through cultural ingenuity. Open value conflicts are likely more common in everyday life than are closed ones.
Keywords: Value Conflicts, Muslim Integration, Gender Equality, Survey Experiment
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