The Complex Relationship Between Multiculturalism and Feminism Essay

The Complex Relationship Between Multiculturalism and Feminism Essay

Length: 844 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Complex Relationship Between Multiculturalism and Feminism

These days, it seems that multiculturalism is generally an assumed good. Increased acknowledgement of diversity and cultural sensitivity seem to be steps toward leveling the playing field for all human beings. And that is the goal of much scholarship and activism, right--to secure and ensure human rights across the board? That is one of global feminism’s aims, so it would seem that multiculturalism would help, not hinder, feminist work to better the situation of women. That is not necessarily the case.
It may be helpful to first clarify what is meant by both feminism and multiculturalism. Though it is difficult to definitively state what is meant by these complex terms, Susan Moller Okin is able to sum up the essence of feminism and single out a facet of multiculturalism that is particularly relevant. In her essay, “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?,” Okin explores the relationship between feminism and multiculturalism, especially pertaining to the granting of “group rights.” Okin writes: “By feminism, I mean the belief that women should not be disadvantaged by their sex, that they should be recognized as having human dignity equal to that of men, and that they should have the opportunity to live as fulfilling and as freely chosen lives as men can.” She goes on, writing that “Multiculturalism is harder to pin down, but the particular aspect that concerns me here is the claim, made in the context of basically liberal democracies, that minority cultures or ways of life are not sufficiently protected by the practice of ensuring the individual rights of their members, and as a consequence these should also be protected through special group rights of priv...

... middle of paper ...

...a hard time representing our entire country’s population in a few sentences, or even a few pages. The American cultural system of today is far different than the culture of the 1940’s, and my experience as a Southerner is quite different than that of someone from New England. Multiculturalism seeks to protect cultures from extinction, it is very dangerous to over-simplify a complex cultural system and identify it by its most extreme practices. Feminism and multiculturalism do have some of the same goals; chiefly, equality of rights for all human beings. It is true that some efforts of multiculturalism counter feminism’s goals to empower women, but I do not think that this must always be the case. Cultural sensitivity is not enough; we must consider cultural practices, the workings of the cultural system that supports them, and how that system itself came about.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Theme Of Agger 's Multiculturalism And The Concept Of Feminism Essay

- ... The primary difference between multiculturalism and Marxist thought is found in the motives of the French postmodern movement, which the Americans co-opted to reflect a liberal ideology. Traditionally, Marxist thought focused on a “leftist” ideology, instead of a postmodern “liberal” ideology. More so, Agger (2013) shows the dynamics of postmodern multicultural values that are differentiated from the Marxist values of the 20th century: However, when we consider the American reception of postmodernism and German critical theory, it is clear that the postmodern theories of Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, and Baudrillard are positioned in order to support a version of post-Marxism that is clos...   [tags: Sociology, Marxism, Postmodernism, Karl Marx]

Better Essays
960 words (2.7 pages)

Integrating Multiculturalism Into School Education Essay

- ... Introduction Mathematics emerged from one Greek word meaning three words knowledge, learning and study. With respect to study it relates to subjects exploring space, quantity (numbers), structure and change. However, the scope of mathematics definition varies among philosophers found within the science. Essentially, mathematicians are concerned with patterns’ integration, which are utilized to create conjectures. These conjectures are either validated as truth or falsified. Culturally, over time mathematics developed from the basics of counting calculations, measurement, exploration of shapes and motions into abstract logical thinking (Jourdain, 2003)....   [tags: Culture, Education, Mathematics, Multiculturalism]

Better Essays
1613 words (4.6 pages)

The Oedipus Complex in Literature Essay

- According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the Oedipus Complex is a child’s positive libidinal feelings toward the parent of the opposite sex and hostile or jealous feelings toward the parent of the same sex that develop usually between the ages of three and six and that may be a source of adult personality disorder when unresolved (Merriam-Webster). In Sons and Lovers, Paul Morel demonstrates the classic symptoms of the Oedipus complex. Paul and his father’s relationship is destroyed early in his life....   [tags: Oedipus Complex]

Better Essays
3493 words (10 pages)

Essay on The Ethics of Feminism

- The Ethics of Feminism Just seeing more of life, just recognizing that there are an awful lot of things that are common among people. There are certain things that you come to learn promote a better life and better relationships and more personal fulfillment than other things that in general tend to do the opposite, and the things that promote these things, you would call them morally right.[1] The normative questions that come to fill one’s life, in this woman’s account, presume goals and methods that are inseparable from the history that creates a person as s/he is....   [tags: Ethics Morality Feminism Feminist Essays]

Better Essays
4561 words (13 pages)

Hamlet and the Oedipus Complex Essay

- When examining Hamlet through the lens of the Oedipus complex, it is critical to first define and thoroughly explain the Oedipus complex, then to apply it to Hamlet's relationships, before a final conclusion is reached. The Complexities of the Complex Before one can understand the Oedipus complex, one must understand Sigmund Freud's theory on infantile sexuality. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy points out that the roots of Freud's theory can be found in the work of an older colleague of Freud's, Josef Breuer....   [tags: Oedipal Complex]

Better Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Women's Issues and Multiculturalism Essays

- Women's Issues and Multiculturalism ABSTRACT: In part one of this paper, I offer a description of the main versions of multiculturalism, with its liberal interpretation among them. In part two, I give an outline of the changes that have taken place in women's social status in the course of history and of the various stages of their emancipation process. In the third part I examine the relationship between multiculturalism and women's issues in general. Finally, I explore the same in Hungary, and attempt to draw some general consequences....   [tags: Feminist Feminism Cultural Essays]

Better Essays
3214 words (9.2 pages)

Essay on Multiculturalism in America

- Multiculturalism in America Ask any American how they feel about multiculturalism you are likely to get one of two responses: either a cringe or a smile. Those that cringe will say something along the line of “Multiculturalism is the wrong way to look at things. It separates us by saying that everyone is different instead of saying that we are the same and unifying us.” Those that smile will talk about how great multiculturalism is because they get to see aspects of all different cultures on television and on the radio and they are free to explore all the different things that various cultures have to offer....   [tags: Multiculturalism in Education]

Better Essays
3213 words (9.2 pages)

Essay about Multiculturalism in Education

- Multiculturalism is not just a concept, it is an important term for teachers to integrate into their daily classroom instruction. Nowhere is the need for the inclusion of a culturally diverse education more evident than in our state. "Currently, 30% of students in the U.S. are ethnic minorities. Our state's public schools educate a student population that is 42% ethnic minority (35% African American, 4% Asian, 3% Hispanic, .5% Native American). Over 100 nations and 130 languages and dialects are represented in our schools....   [tags: Teaching Multiculturalism]

Better Essays
1263 words (3.6 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism There has been a great deal of discussion over the Feminist & Gender Studies Program changing its name to Gender & Sexuality. The basis of this debate is over the exclusion of the word "feminist" from the title. It is important to question how this modification will affect the direction of the program and the feminist movement as a whole. The categorization of this area of study must be sensitive to the complex social issues it represents. Bringing the term "gender" to the fore-front, and focusing less on women, is a necessary "part of the attempt by contemporary feminists to stake claim to a certain definitional ground, to insist on the inadequacies of existing bodies of men" (Sco...   [tags: Feminism Sociology Essays]

Better Essays
1514 words (4.3 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism The notion of difference among the sexes has been studied extensively in terms of cognition and brain activity. An MRI can back these claims, showing male and female brains 'lighting up' in different locations based upon different stimuli. Anyone with a close relationship to a child can attest to the fact that they were born with certain traits. Perhaps their nephew is very shy, while their niece has never met a stranger. In other words, some difference among individuals is innate, fundamental....   [tags: Women Rights Feminist Papers]

Better Essays
3953 words (11.3 pages)