Cultural Relativism In The Face Of The West: The Plight Of Women and Female Children

Hardcover | March 15, 2007

byBret L. Billet

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While the merit of universalism and cultural relativism are perennially contested, this insightful analysis argues that the human rights of women and female children are best realized through the establishment of cross-cultural human rights universals. Western universalism has been quick to dismiss alien cultural practices as dysfunctional, while cultural relativists continue to bellow the ills of cultural imperialism. Case studies on circumcision, infanticide, prostitution, and labor provide substantive contexts in which to evaluate these arguments. Billet utilizes a six-fold analytical framework to detail particular aspects of each practice and to present potential resolutions for the disparity between the extremes of Western universalism and cultural relativism.

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While the merit of universalism and cultural relativism are perennially contested, this insightful analysis argues that the human rights of women and female children are best realized through the establishment of cross-cultural human rights universals. Western universalism has been quick to dismiss alien cultural practices as dysfuncti...

Bret L. Billet is Professor of Political Science and Co-coordinator of the International Relations Program at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He has also taught at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University. He is the author of several books, including Investment Behavior of Multinational Corporations in Developing Areas, Mo...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.63 × 5.72 × 0.88 inPublished:March 15, 2007Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312221312

ISBN - 13:9780312221317

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Universal Human Rights versus Cultural Relativism * The Case of Female Circumcision * The Case of Female Infanticide * The Case of Prostituted Female Children * The Case of Female Child Labour * Conclusion: Toward Cross-cultural Universals

Editorial Reviews

"This book examines one of the most important issues in the contemporary international system.  The questions relating to whether there are universally applicable human rights that transcend local cultural traditions go to the very heart of the ongoing debate over globalization.  In a clear and concise manner, this book begins by explaining the basic arguments and assumptions associated with cultural relativism and with the position that human rights extend to all people across the globe.  Following this, several human rights issues regarding the role of females in developing societies are examined in an extremely thoughtful and illuminating way.  This book is ideally suited for courses on international politics, globalization, and human rights."--John M. Rothgeb, Jr., Professor of Political Science, Miami University of Ohio