In this remarkable book, Alison Dundes Renteln amasses hundreds of cases from the U.S. and around the world in which cultural issues take center stage-from the mundane to the bizarre, from drugs to death. Though cultural practices vary dramatically, Renteln demonstrates that there are discernible patterns to the cultural arguments used in the courtroom. The regularities she uncovers offer judges a starting point for creating a body of law that takes culture into account. Renteln contends that a systematic treatment of culture in law is not only possible, but ultimately more equitable. A just pluralistic society requires a legal system that can assess diverse motivations and can recognize the key role that culture plays in influencing human behavior. The inclusion of evidence of cultural background is necessary for the fair hearing of a case.
An invaluable resource for practitioners, students, and the merely curious, this comprehensive treatment of cultural conflicts in diverse societies will spark lively debate.
Keywords: LAW / Jurisprudence LAW052000