POLS3310 Houston Community Challenge of Multiculturalism Homework You are not required to answer every question above, or to choose one side over another in your thesis.You should use the challenge of multiculturalism, feminism, or both, to reflect on the various traditions of political theory covered in the course. Your thesis may compare different thinkers, or approaches, or texts of your choosing to contrast their implications, or you may focus on the role of culture, or gender as a way to discuss what you think the role of the political philosopher should be. Defend your thesis by utilizing at least 3 source materials from the course. Good luck! PSC 3310: Introduction to Political Theory
Professor Naomi Choi
Final Writing Assignment
Your final writing assignment is a take home essay. Your essay should be double-spaced, 12 point font,
and 5-7 pages long. You must submit your essay online via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on Thursday, Dec 5,
2019 via the Turnitin link. No late assignments will be accepted. No extensions will be granted.
Instructions: Think about your answer before you begin to write. Once you have decided on the main point
of your response, state it clearly as your thesis in your first paragraph and proceed to explain and defend
your thesis. Focus your thoughts on the relevant course materials of your choosing. Your essay will be
evaluated using three-fold criteria: 1) how well you understand the specific issue at hand, 2) whether your
thesis statement is clearly expressed, and 3) how well your reasoning supports your thesis.
According to the aspiration of universal rights, no one should be discriminated against because of
his or her race, ethnicity, gender, or faith. Even where people may be different from one another,
everyone deserves and ought to be treated as morally equal, by virtue of being a human being. Is
there something wrong with the aspiration of universalism? Some scholars have pointed out that
the unitary conception of citizenship that stresses homogeneity (sameness) as a basic universal
principle went a long way to prevent the injustices of absolute monarchy, of aristocratic privilege,
and more recently, of ethno-cultural, gender, and class discrimination. But this ‘one size fits all’
approach may have blinded us to the different needs of different people.
The challenge of multiculturalism lies in the claim that to ignore group differences is by definition
to ignore something that is morally valuable and that liberal institutions that do so are necessarily
discriminating against those who do not share the individualism that is at the heart of liberal
political culture. Likewise, the challenge of feminism lies in the claim that political philosophy,
in its guises of neutrality, universalism, and its tendency towards abstraction, has been far more a
part of the problem that needs to be addressed than a part of the solution.
Do you think that traditional approaches to political theory or contemporary theories of distributive
justice are guilty of this charge? In what ways do you think they have imposed or encouraged
homogeneity and how might that be objectionable? Do you agree with the liberal feminist view
that political theory needs to rethink the role of the family and other gendered roles in its analysis
in order to better live up to universal standards of freedom and equality for all? Or do you agree
with difference feminists that the universalizing approach should be abandoned for a more
particularistic account that emphasizes the fundamental differences between the two sexes and
enables different treatment for different kinds? When political theorists ask, “what should be
done?” should we focus our attention on what makes people the same, regardless of their ethnicity,
race, gender, or sexual preference; or should we instead pay greater attention to what makes people
different in essential ways?
You are not required to answer every question above, or to choose one side over another in your thesis.
You should use the challenge of multiculturalism, feminism, or both, to reflect on the various traditions of
political theory covered in the course. Your thesis may compare different thinkers, or approaches, or texts
of your choosing to contrast their implications, or you may focus on the role of culture, or gender as a way
to discuss what you think the role of the political philosopher should be. Defend your thesis by utilizing at
least 3 source materials from the course. Good luck!
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