ERIC Number: ED381513
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov-13
Reference Count: N/A
Multiculturalism and Religious Fundamentalism: The Moral Challenge of Gender.
Milligan, Jeffrey Ayala
This paper raises some points of tension that religious fundamentalism poses for multiculturalism, particularly regarding the status and role of women. An early section argues that inclusion and empowerment are key concepts at the core of multiculturalism. Further, the paper argues, multiculturalism's post-modernist/post-colonial deconstruction approach has created a non-absolutist conception of power, knowledge, culture, and identity. In this context, the next section asks if multiculturalism's championing of the marginalized, and its re-examination of the relationship between religion and education, logically extends its inclusion and empowerment agendas to religious fundamentalist movements that are actually subcultures? A review of the social and intellectual development of religious fundamentalism in the United States follows along with an argument that it and multiculturalism are both responses to or critiques of modernity. The next section explores the tension that arises over the role and status of women when fundamentalist groups are legitimized under the multicultural agenda. The next section describes the experiences of two women from fundamentalist cultures who had to enter into arranged marriages and the personification in these women of the dilemma that fundamentalist culture poses for multiculturalism. If one holds to the belief that the empowerment of women is an integral part of multiculturalism, then one is bound to question the morality of women's subordination. The paper concludes that it may be time to seek a new conceptual basis for multiculturalism, one that moves beyond diversity, inclusion, and empowerment, that can bridge differences and not forget subordinated individuals and groups. (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Empowerment; Patriarchy; Religious Fundamentalism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Studies Association (26th, Chapel Hill, NC, November 10-13, 1994).