The Cultural Defense

Paperback | August 11, 2005

byAlison Dundes Renteln

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In what ways and to what extent should cultural background be taken into consideration in response to legal problems? The first book-length study of the topic, The Cultural Defense provides a comprehensive overview of the debate surrounding the admissibility of cultural evidence in thecourtroom. Documenting an extraordinary range of cases in which individuals have attempted to invoke a cultural defense, this book provides an in-depth look at the complexities of invoking cultural arguments in the diverse bodies of law under which the cases fall. Cases considered include homicideand rape prosecutions, child abuse cases, drug use cases, the treatment of animals, and custody battles. Disputing current practices, Renteln contends that the cultural defense should, in both criminal and civil matters, be given formal recognition.

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In what ways and to what extent should cultural background be taken into consideration in response to legal problems? The first book-length study of the topic, The Cultural Defense provides a comprehensive overview of the debate surrounding the admissibility of cultural evidence in thecourtroom. Documenting an extraordinary range of ca...

Alison Dundes Renteln is Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at the University of Southern California and the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. An expert on cultural rights, her publications include International Human Rights and Folk Law (co-edited with Alan Dundes). She holds a Ph.D in Jurisprudence a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 6.1 × 9.02 × 1.3 inPublished:August 11, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195154037

ISBN - 13:9780195154030

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Table of Contents

Part I: Law and Culture1. Introduction2. Why Culture Matters for JusticePart II: Cultural Conflicts in the Courtroom3. Homicide4. Children5. Drugs6. Animals7. Marriage8. Attire9. The DeadPart III: Toward a Principle of Maximum Accommodation10. The Cultural Defense in Theory and Practice11. The Right to CultureNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Professor Renteln has ably questioned the adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," as a rule for applying the law equally. Her well-informed argument for a partial cultural defense (and offense in civil litigation) echoes the jus gentium of the Roman Empire itself. The case law isfascinating."--James A.R.Nafziger, Thomas B. Stoel Professor, Willamette University College of Law