A Sense of Belonging

  • The Cultural-Historical Roots to Group Rights

Members of certain groups are often granted special rights. Members of a gender may be the recipients of affirmative action, members of indigenous groups can be entitled special language and land rights, and membership in certain nationalities can count as grounds to be prioritized – or demoted – in immigration.

But only certain types of membership seem to have such a moral standing. Why is it, for example, that many think indigenous groups might deserve protection and rights, but not, say, all urban dwellers?

This project considers whether a cultural copying account of group membership, where membership is achieved through a chain of cultural learning from past models, can explain why some groups can achieve a special moral standing. Can a group claim rights based on a shared history?  

The project is funded by a Sapere Aude grant from The Independent Research Fund Denmark. It is headed by assistant professor Marion Godman and will run over three years starting 1 January 2020.