Document Type


Publication Date



The topic of "culture" and its influence on and interaction with law, politics, and gender has been a preoccupation of many scholars for decades, if not centuries. Particularly in those countries that have experienced waves of immigration from various parts of the globe, questions of assimilation, culture, and identity have been a perennial source of concern and inquiry. In the United States, where the dominant culture has been a product of European immigration, notions of race and national origin have shaped the question of citizenship and belonging, often playing a critical role in the granting or withholding of rights. Indeed, certain kinds of racial and cultural difference were deemed so immutable and so unassimilable that they led not only to the denial of citizenship, but also to the stripping of citizenship from those to whom it had been granted.' Furthermore, religious difference also played a role in the ongoing attempts by federal government to regulate minority religions, as is starkly evident in the ongoing regulation of Mormon polygamy. Today, one would be hard-pressed to find a Supreme Court opinion baldly