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Can Culture Have Rights, and if so, Can They Conflict with Human Rights - Research Paper Example

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This research paper “Can culture have rights, and if so, can they conflict with human rights?” describes the concept of human rights, equality and the respect for the rights of the cultural minority. This paper analyses ethnic and indigenous cultures, alternative principles and theories…
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Can Culture Have Rights, and if so, Can They Conflict with Human Rights
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Download file to see previous pages The supposed 'maltreatment' of women in some Islamic cultures, for instance, especially those that practice 'fundamentalism' and view women as 'unequal' with men, become a predicament for the proponents of liberalism and its underlying dogma as this violates its egalitarian principles with regards gender. Other liberalists contend that human rights are universal and its ideals are evident in the cultures of the minority. Still, cultural relativists have criticized the UN Declaration as too ethnocentric - one which only strives to perpetuate Western democratic ideas of human rights and equality, focusing mainly on individuality. In addition, various cultural norms and practices violate the principles of international human rights while the UN Declaration equally conflicts with some religious and cultural practices of several cultural groups. Hence, a reassertion of these liberal principles is significant in order to clarify if indeed, under the liberalists thought, cultures are afforded and can be endowed rights and if these rights conflict with the universal ideals of human rights.
The most notable assertion with regards this issue was introduced by Will Kymlicka who contends that the fundamental principles of liberalism oblige for the recognition of the rights of a group to protect cultural minorities.1 Kymlicka asserts that these principles do not violate the doctrines of liberalism; rather, he believes that liberals have to come to the defense of the minority cultures within the multicultural state. This does not project a nationalist belief but rather a reassertion of the minority rights within the larger context of the society; yet, Kymlicka also shares the view that cultures must be afforded rights to public expression. This view partly constitutes a liberal view as he argues that that cultural minority groups require protection from decisions of the prevailing majority culture and adds that the minority has to make decisions on certain issues that affect or threaten some aspect of their culture. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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