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Can group rights justify the denial of education to children? The Amish in the United States as a case study

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael



Multiculturalism gives preference to group rights over individual rights. This may challenge democratic values. This paper focuses on the Amish denial of education from their adolescents. Criticizing Wisconsin v. Yoder (Wisconsin v. Yoder 406 U.S. 205 (1972)), the paper analyses the power of the Amish community over its members. The main questions are: Is it reasonable to deny the Amish adolescents' standard American education? What are the limits of state interference in norms of illib-eral communities who invoke separatism as a mechanism of cultural and religious preservation?


Cohen-Almagor, R. (2021). Can group rights justify the denial of education to children? The Amish in the United States as a case study. SN Social Sciences, 1(7),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2021
Online Publication Date May 6, 2021
Publication Date 2021-07
Deposit Date Jun 21, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 22, 2021
Journal SN Social Sciences
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 7
Article Number 164
Keywords Amish; Education; Open future; State interference; Wisconsin v. Yoder
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© The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

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