Whose agenda is it? Abuses of women and abuses of ‘culture’ in Britain

Dustin, Moira and Phillips, Anne (2008) Whose agenda is it? Abuses of women and abuses of ‘culture’ in Britain. Ethnicities, 8 (3). pp. 405-424. ISSN 14687968

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Developments in Britain reflect a shift from a shallow but widely endorsed multiculturalism to a growing preoccupation with abuses of women in minority cultural groups. Four main issues have been debated in the media and become the basis of either public policy or legal judgment: forced marriage, honour killing, female genital cutting, and women’s Islamic dress. The treatment of these issues has often been problematic, with discourses over culture tending to misrepresent minority cultural groups as monolithic entities, and initiatives to protect women becoming entangled with anti-immigration agendas. It has therefore proved hard to address abuses of women without simultaneously promoting stereotypes of culture. The most encouraging signs of resolving these tensions appear where there has been a prior history of women’s activism, and a greater willingness on the part of government to draw groups into consultation. We argue that this offers a greater prospect of devising effective initiatives that do not set up multiculturalism in opposition to women’s rights.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Moira Dustin
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 10:26
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 10:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/64708
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