UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Freedom to prioritize : a solution to the conflicts of identity? Afsahi, Afsoun


Are feminism and multiculturalism inherently irreconcilable? Over the past few years many scholars have focused on and attempted to offer remedies to the apparent tension within liberal societies in regards to upholding both the principles of sexual equality and cultural protection. The question addressed in this paper is whether there is any way to guarantee gender equality without infringing upon the rights of different cultures, destroying the deeply-valued and entrenched notions of multiculturalism and ethic diversity, and engaging in what would be termed as neo-colonialism and imperial universalism? Drawing on the scholarly works including those by Okin, Benhabib, Eisenberg, Song, Shachar, and Phillips, I argue for a new model – placed within a larger discourse of deliberative democracy- based on the acknowledgement of the plurality of identities of single individuals within groups and facilitating the potential of prioritization of identities by individuals within groups as a possible solution to the problems that arise not out of feminism or multiculturalism nor in their apparent incompatibility with each other, but by a clash of these identities and the exclusion of women from the discourse which would have otherwise highlighted the plurality of identities.

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