In this paper I consider the value of cultural membership to the individual, particularly as it contributes to the expression of individual autonomy. Some theorists would accord external protections against the larger society to the cultural structure of national minorities through group-differentiated rights. Others eschew external protections, but would protect cultural content by supporting the authority of cultural leaders to enforce traditional practices as a condition of membership. Still others would accord legal protections and exemptions to individuals purely on the basis of minority status, so that members of some groups do not suffer undue disadvantage compared with others.