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|Title: ||Equality of Cultural Identity|
|Authors: ||Pinto, Meital|
|Advisor: ||Weinrib, Lorraine|
freedom of religion
|Issue Date: ||2-Mar-2010|
|Abstract: ||I address claims of offence of feelings, religious freedom and language rights, which are all justified by the intrinsic interest individuals attach to their culture. I call them ‘claims from cultural identity’. I develop a conception of substantive equality, understood as distributive justice and underpinned by dignity, for regulating claims from cultural identity in the legal system of multicultural states. I call it Equality of Cultural Identity.
It is a ‘complex equality’ model, which takes cultural identity to be a sphere in peoples’ lives. Unlike majority members, cultural minority members are usually under constant pressure to compromise their cultural identity and assimilate in the majority culture to succeed in other spheres of their lives like education and career. In accordance with Walzer’s theory of Spheres of Justice, I propose a regulative principle to determine the extent of cultural protection minority members deserve, according to which the influence of other spheres of their lives on their sphere of cultural identity should as minimal as possible.
I apply this principle to claims of offence to feeling, which I re-conceptualize as claims from integrity of cultural identity. I suggest the vulnerable identity principle: The more vulnerable a person’s cultural identity, the stronger her claim from integrity of cultural identity. This principle enhances a just distribution of symbolic goods between majority and minority members, is based on objective evaluation standards, and avoids legal moralism. Thus, it overcomes the major liberal worries about regulating speech.
With respect to the language rights and religious freedom, I comparatively analyze them qua cultural rights. I argue that the right to religious freedom, which is generously interpreted by courts, bears all of the allegedly unique features of language rights that are used to support their restrained judicial interpretation. Thus, the existing arguments for their restrained interpretation are not valid. I identify a novel argument for their restrained interpretation, which is that they impose a cultural burden on majority members, but drawing on my conception of equality, I argue that it is not sound as the burden they impose is not great.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
Faculty of Law - Doctoral theses
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