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summary
Autonomy is fundamental to liberalism. But autonomous individuals often choose to do things that harm themselves or undermine their equality. In particular, women often choose to participate in practices of sexual inequality—cosmetic surgery, gendered patterns of work and childcare, makeup, restrictive clothing, or the sexual subordination required by membership in certain religious groups. In this book, Clare Chambers argues that this predicament poses a fundamental challenge to many existing liberal and multicultural theories that dominate contemporary political philosophy.Chambers argues that a theory of justice cannot ignore the influence of culture and the role it plays in shaping choices. If cultures shape choices, it is problematic to use those choices as the measure of the justice of the culture. Drawing upon feminist critiques of gender inequality and poststructuralist theories of social construction, she argues that we should accept some of the multicultural claims about the importance of culture in shaping our actions and identities, but that we should reach the opposite normative conclusion to that of multiculturalists and many liberals. Rather than using the idea of social construction to justify cultural respect or protection, we should use it to ground a critical stance toward cultural norms. The book presents radical proposals for state action to promote sexual and cultural justice.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. vi
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  1. Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-17
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  1. Part I: Theories of Social Construction
  2. p. 19
  1. 1 Creativity, Cultural Practice, and the Body: Foucault and Three Problems with the Liberal Focus on Choice
  2. pp. 21-44
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  1. 2 Masculine Domination, Radical Feminism, and Change
  2. pp. 45-80
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  1. 3 Social Construction, Normativity, and Difference
  2. pp. 81-114
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  1. Part II: Liberalism, Culture, and Autonomy
  2. p. 115
  1. 4 All Must Have Prizes: The Liberal Case for Interference in Cultural Practices
  2. pp. 117-158
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  1. 5 Two Orders of Autonomy and Political Liberalism: Breast Implants Versus Female Genital Mutilation
  2. pp. 159-202
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  1. 6 Paternalism and Autonomy
  2. pp. 203-232
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  1. 7 Liberal Perfectionism and the Autonomy of Restricted Lives
  2. pp. 233-260
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 261-266
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 267-284
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-294
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780271053158
Related ISBN
9780271033020
MARC Record
OCLC
233649984
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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