group rights - Are Group Specific Rights Justified...

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Are Group Specific Rights Justified? Kymlicka -in reality, politics is almost always a matter of identities and interests, the question is always which identities and interests are being promoted -Marshal felt that a common set of social rights would integrate people into a common national culture, he assumed cultural integration was good for the working class -from the point of view of the state it is easier to govern a society when its citizens share a common national language, culture and identity, all the major functions of the state, planning, enforcement, communication etc. all work better if there is a certain cultural communality amongst citizens -integrating citizens into a common national culture also may promote mutual understanding, trust and solidarity (unity) -social rights are the right to gain certain common benefits through common public institution operating in a common national language, to meet the basic needs while reaching a common national identity -minorities still feel marginalized or stigmatized despite possessing the common rights of citizenship -minorities argue that common rights of citizenship, originally defined by and for white heterosexual, able-bodied men , cannot accommodate the needs of other groups, and demand some form of ‘differentiated citizenship’ (Young 1989) -they demand group specific forms of citizenship either because they reject the idea that there should be single common national culture or because they think the best way to include people in such a common culture is through differentiated citizenship rights -many religious minorities feel excluded for the national culture, and seek forms of recognition for their differences, eg. Public recognition of their religious holidays , exemption from laws that interfere with religious warship, such as animal slaughtering legislation that prohibits the ritually prescribed form of slaughtering for Jew or Muslims, or dress codes which prevent Sikhs from wearing their turbans in the army or police force -some groups like women, blacks and indigenous people are both disproportionally concentrated in vulnerable economic positions, and also subject to demeaning or silencing cultural representations -the idea of differentiated citizenship is a radical development in citizenship theory, as citizenship is defined as a matter of treating people as individuals with equal rights under the law -groups specific rights have two important features: 1) they go beyond the familiar set of common civil and political rights of individual citizenship which are protected in all liberal democracies 2) they are adopted with the intention of recognizing and accommodating the distinctive identities and needs of ethnocultural groups -ethnocultural groups are worthy of such protection , partly because they are most a risk, but mostly because they still have a communal way of life to be protected -many minorities want to seek equality as the majority without group rights
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