This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book presents threefold classification of cases distinguishable by the nature of the cultural issue they involve. It is concerned with matters belonging to political theory and American political history. The book discusses social theory and legal materials, and focuses on an account of culture that explains its importance and the place it occupies in directing the course of human action. It attempts to find a constitutional home for the right to cultural autonomy. The book explores the viability of the frequent use of cultural factors in criminal defense strategies. It is also concerned with the use of cultural factors to establish a defendant's diminished capacity and thus to invoke cultural influences as an excusing condition. The analysis of the relation between law and culture is limited by basic factors.