Pol 266: Essay 2

Essay 2

Your answer should be typed, 1000-1500 words (3-5 double-space pp.), and include a source citation for the event or phenomenon you use in your analysis. No title pages, please: just put your name on the top of the first page.

FYI: Due Friday, November 15.

Answer the following questions in one continuous essay. Where appropriate, use a current event or ongoing phenomenon to illustrate your analysis in answering the following questions:

1. Taylor argues that the need for recognition is now a prominent issue in contemporary liberal politics. What does he mean by recognition? How did it become such a big issue? Why does it matter?
2. Taylor and the commentators more-(Rockefeller, Walzer)or-less (Wolf) seem to take ‘our’ culture for granted. Do any of them make clear what ‘our’ culture is? What, if any, are the problems with presuming this common culture, and with setting it against ‘other’ cultures?
3. Appiah worries that cultures, in providing ‘life-scripts’, may unduly constrain individuals in ways which prevent their recognition as individuals, i.e., the ways in which they may go ‘off-script’. Does Appiah, or any of Okin’s respondents, give any guidance on how to recognize both individuals and cultures? How so? Or is it not even possible? Explain.
4. Okin defines multiculturalism in terms of “group rights,” and contrasts that to the individualism of liberal democracy. She argues that since group rights usually infringe on individual rights, there can be no recognition for group rights. Is it the case that groups infringe upon individuals? If so, should individual rights always trump group rights? Should there be any exceptions?
5. Okin also claims that multiculturalism is bad and liberal democracy good for the advancement of women’s rights. Is this the case? How much does or should it matter? Refer to Okin’s respondents in crafting your response.


About proftp

I teach political science and bioethics as an adjunct at a CUNY school.
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