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Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?
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Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Polygamy, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, punishing women for being raped, differential access for men and women to health care and education, unequal rights of ownership, assembly, and political participation, unequal vulnerability to violence. These practices and conditions are standard in some parts of the world. Do demands for multiculturalism--and certain ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published August 29th 1999 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 1999)
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Pavol Hardos
A very nice collection of essays - the central essay by Okin is great, insightful and thought-provoking - her reply to her critics ditto. But the book is worth reading in its entirety, since it collects reactions ranging from assent, through intelligent qualifications, mild criticism, to the bat-shit in(s)ane. Especially the latter ones are instructive; contributions by Homi Bhabha, Bhikhu Parekh, Sander Gilman will probably be a great test to see if you are a 'gut liberal' (as Brian Barry propo ...more
Paul Crider
Jul 13, 2016 Paul Crider rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism, philosophy
It's difficult to review a book like this. It's set up as a lead essay (by Okin), followed by several short response essays by other public intellectuals, and finally a reply essay by Okin. I guess to be successful such a book should have at least an interesting lead essay, and then a diversity of responses that span the possibilities.

The lead essay is indeed fertile for commentary, if quite imperfect on its own. Okin is entirely correct to note a tension between multiculturalism and feminism, b
Rachel Smith
Apr 04, 2011 Rachel Smith rated it liked it
Susan Okin presents her audience with an interesting viewpoint about the effects of multiculturalism on women across the globe; however, her argument contains crucial holes and false assumptions that work against her claims. Her central point that multiculturalism and the idea of minority group rights allows for violences against women to persist in minority cultures is especially compelling and certainly in need of critical discussion. Okin’s main starting point for criticizing multiculturalis ...more
Kathryn Visco
Apr 10, 2014 Kathryn Visco rated it it was amazing
I personally loved this book. Everything about it was amazing and factual. The format of the book was very nice as well. I liked how it gave Susan Moller Okin's opinion first and allowed for critiques the second part from other writers. Finally, Okin would respond to her critics in the final part. If you love social justice and women's rights, read this book! It is a quick read, but it contains so much information. I would only recommend you this book if you like feminism and social justice. I r ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Franditya rated it it was ok
Menguji adalah sebuah proses lanjutan, sebuah fase penarikan simpulan sementara (hipotesis), kemudian mengelaborasinya menjadi bagian dari gagasan (discourse) yang sedang dikembangkan. Susan Moller Okin (1999), dalam tulisan “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?” sebenarnya sedang melakukan proses itu. Namun Okin tak sekadar menguji, tapi juga memberikan penilaian lebih jauh tentang kemungkinan-kemungkinan atau ketidakmungkinan terjadinya dialektika feminisme dan multikulturalisme. Dalam tulisanny ...more
Jasreet Badyal
Jan 07, 2011 Jasreet Badyal rated it liked it
Interesting book that raises good points. However, the number of collaborators leads to a lack of depth and some of the pieces end up being more polemical than enlightening. Moreover, the Reply in the end that Okin makes to all the pieces ends up being rather awkward, somewhat offensive, and has borderline personal attacks that lack academic polish. Furthermore, a number of the pieces have rather un-academic way of arguing points, drawing on newspaper articles to make broad statements, etc. Over ...more
Nov 06, 2011 Yoav rated it liked it
This is a good collection of articles. It opens with Okin's original piece on multiculturalism and women which spawned a lot of debate. The rest of the pieces are commentaries on Okin's original work - some supportive, others critical. Though some are much better than others, almost all of them are worth a read. They're all fairly short and to the point, and provide a lot of material for thought. Okin's retort aat the end of the book is also useful, as it allows her to further develop her argume ...more
Brent Wilson
May 25, 2011 Brent Wilson rated it really liked it
Susan Moller Okin wrote a provocative paper - enough to sustain a book with responses and conversation. For me, this book was a useful window into the discourse surrounding feminism and multiculturalism, which sometimes can be in conflict. It's interesting to see how academic criticism happens - some very sober and stern papers, overly dry and critical; other responses that were more generous and non-defensive, with wonderful insights and alternative perspectives.

Overall a fun case study in crit
Dec 23, 2011 Vera rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those in the fields of women's studies, post-colonial studies, public policy, poli sci
Shelves: gender-studies
I strongly suggest reading the book beyond the first essay which many readers will find flawed in a number of ways (e.g.,conflation of culture and religion, sweeping generalizations, lack of nuance, West-centeredness and so on). The piece by Okin is surely problematic, but the subsequent responses to it offer a thoughtful critiques and a range of perspectives on the highly controversial issues of women's rights, multiculturalism and liberalism.
Jun 23, 2013 Jantine rated it it was amazing
This is one of these books that makes you think and reflect for a long time. A long list of influential people in the field of multiculturalism, feminism and filosophy gave their intelligent views, arguments and opionions related to the title's question. Some contributions may be a bit out of date by now, but the book still provides an incredible kaleidoscope of views worthwhile reading and to reflect about. A true eye-opener!
An interesting debate book that starts with S. Moller Okin article on ethnic group rights and the bad inpact they could have on women. The replying articles offer a big spectre of opinions, from agreements on Okins theories to opposition. An interesting book, whatever a person think about multiculturalism and ethnic group rights.
Nov 08, 2007 Ty rated it really liked it
Shelves: sexuality
The initial essay by the editor is deeply problematic and troublesome. But the brillance of this book is that it includes multiple essays responding to the editor and then it ends with her reflection on the points that were brought to her attention.
Amy Charles
Aug 15, 2008 Amy Charles rated it it was amazing
Counter-intuitive, but makes sense! Even when we think we're doing something "good," there can be unintended negative consequences.
May 28, 2007 Sarah rated it it was ok
Will Kymlicka's thoughtful response was the most worthwhile of the bunch.

(Note: Okin was my professor's senior thesis advisor)
Jan 13, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, ethics
very interesting collection of essays, though a bit one-sided in its perspective.
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