The Schubert Center for Child Studies
The Department of Anthropology
Phi Beta Kappa (CWRU Chapter)
Coming to terms with diversity in an increasingly multicultural world has become one of the most pressing public policy projects for liberal democracies in the early 21st century. One way to come to terms with diversity is to try to understand the scope and limits of toleration for variety at different national sites where immigration from foreign lands has complicated the cultural landscape. This lecture examines a series of legal and moral questions about the proper response to norm conflict between mainstream populations and cultural minority groups in the United States, with special reference to a famous Supreme Court case concerning the prosecution of Amish families in Wisconsin for refusing to send their children to high school.
Richard A. Shweder
is a cultural anthropologist and the William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD degree in social anthropology in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University in 1972. Professor Shweder has been a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1985-86) and the recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Socio-Psychological Prize. He has twice been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto, where he has co-chaired a special project on 'Culture, Mind and Biology.' He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development (MICMAC). He has served as President of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and is currently co-chairing a joint Social Science Research Council/Russell Sage Foundation Working Group on 'Ethnic Customs, Assimilation and American Law.' For the past thirty years Professor Shweder has been conducting research in cultural psychology on moral reasoning, emotional functioning, gender roles, explanations of illness, causal ideas about suffering and the moral foundations of family life practices in the Hindu temple town of Bhubaneswar on the East Coast of India.
Dr. Shweder's recent research examines the scopes and limits of pluralism and the multicultural challenge in Western liberal democracies. He examines the norm conflicts that arise when people migrate from Africa, Asia and Latin America to countries in the 'North'. He co-edited a book on this topic with Martha Minow and Hazel Markus (published June 2002, Russell Sage Foundation Press) entitled "Engaging Cultural Differences: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracies" (Russell Sage Foundation Press) and was selected as a Carnegie Scholar (2002-2003) to write a book called "When Cultures Collide: The Moral Challenge of Cultural Migration".