It doesn’t have to be ethnic or religious with the example of the women’s rights movement. These two concept can also be inflicting to cultural claims because of the changing and varieties of culture. Benhabib does not give a definitive answer yet emphasizes individuality rather than artificial categories. Benhabib urges us to rather dismiss Universalism and Cultural Relativism because emphasizing differences is unrealistic and undemocratic. There is no reason why you cannot hold (political dialogue) conversation that can overlap and give people who are victimized a chance to tell their story.
Productiveness is produced when you start sharing notions of trouble and commonality rather than emphasizing differences. It is a careful balancing act of all these elements that can help us understand the complexity of the question, ‘who owns native culture? ‘ Benhabib critiques analytical questions to then processing it, with the conclusion that culture is fluid and recognizes this as concrete rather than stigmatize it with undemocratic philosophies. Brown states, “My account emphasizes the virtue of striking a balance between the interests of indigenous groups and the requirements of liberal democracy.
This often leads to the awkward middle ground that Isaiah Berlin once described as a ‘notoriously exposed, dangerous, and ungrateful position. ‘ My centrist stance is inspired by what I found in many of the places I visited; thoughtful people coming together to negotiate workable solutions, however provisional and inelegant. Their success, achieved one at a time, convinced me that grandiose, one-size-fits-all models of heritage protection are likely to hinder rather than encourage improved relations between native peoples and the nation-states in which they find themselves citizens. ” (Brown 9)
Brown doesn’t believe that heritage is all bad but that the power of belief is too hard to prove. Brown accepts that heritage exists yet when you make a decision to protect the place you must look at practices. As the example of the Navaho tribe. They did not base their argument on religious beliefs but the evidence of their practice. The question to who owns native culture can be answered in many ways. Brown states, instead of asking who owns native cultures, but “How can we promote respectful treatment of native cultures and indigenous forms of self-expression within mass societies?
The cases documented here suggest that the quest for dignity in the expressive life of indigenous communities will best be advanced through approaches that affirm the inherently relational nature of the problem. ” (Brown 10) Brown suggests that it would include, “judicious modification of intellectual property law, development of workable policies for the protection of cultural privacy, and greater reliance on the moral resources of civil society. ” (Brown 10) In conclusion, Brown and Benhabib feel that they’re really no one that owns native culture.
It is our common knowledge that culture has been a very porous and variable entity to be reified. People move and travel so much that all culture has been touched by other influences by some way or another. As Brown states in the above paragraph it is the question how can we promote respective treatment of native cultures that has captured another way of looking at the question, ‘who owns native culture? ‘
Reference: 1. Benhabib, Seyla. The claims of culture: equality and diversity in the global era. 2002, New Jersey. Princeton University Press. 2. Brown, Michael F. Who Owns Native Culture? 2003, USA. President and Fellows of Harvard College.