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What rights can individuals claim by virtue of membership of historically oppressed groups? How do these claims conflict with membership of larger communities? In this investigation of the legal and social terrain mapped out by these questions, Martha Minow offers a broader understanding of the legal issues bearing on such incendiary questions as affirmative action, segregation, gay and lesbian rights, racial redistricting and ""identity politics"". It uses incidents to explain the legal concepts behind court decisions. The author's approach recognizes both historic mistreatment of groups and the sometimes conflicting needs of individuals.