Argument: Assimilation wrongly bans practices due to rare abuses

Issue Report: Multiculturalism vs. assimilation


  • Anne Phillips. Multiculturalism Without Culture. May 21, 2007 – “When culture as constraint is employed as part of the argument against multiculturalism, there are also real problems with the policies that flow from this. This has been especially the case in those issues that hinge around tensions between multiculturalism and women’s equality. In some of the most testing of these, it seems to be the women themselves who are making the cultural demand: girls and women saying that they want to cover their heads at school or a university, that they want the right to abort a foetus that has been diagnoses as female or want to marry an as-yet-unknown partner with their parent’s country of origin. Critics of multicultural accommodation commonly discount this, claiming that their women are victims of their patriarchal culture, that what they are representing as their wish has been imposed on them by the men in their community and can therefore be safely ignored. In an increasing number of cases, governments have acted on these worries about cultural coercion by banning an entire practice.”