chapter  3
36 Pages

Difference, democracy and the politics of inclusion

All societies face ongoing questions concerning culture and questions about the different conceptions of the good that ought to be endorsed so that their members may adjust their activities under conditions of socio-economic complexity. These questions in turn impact upon more specific debates concerning appropriate manners, diet, dress and what may and may not be done with and to the human body. In all societies, moreover, and especially in culturally diverse ones, there is not only a diversity of such questions, but also a diversity of answers to them that often, although not necessarily, track the beliefs and values of their different criss-crossing, internally diverse and everchanging ethnic, religious and other kinds of groups.1 Furthermore, and beyond these questions concerning value, and precisely because of the existence of a diversity of social groups, there also arise questions of membership and affiliation that can be reduced to two broad categories: questions concerning who rightly belongs to which group, and questions regarding the status of their members. Similarly to the diversity of answers with respect to culture and value, there is also a diversity of answers to these questions of membership.2