Cultural Anthropology : A Perspective On The Human Condition

883 Words4 Pages
Part one
How should someone interpret another culture that they are not familiar with? In the study of cultural anthropology there are two terms in which an individual can formulate an opinion on a new cultural setting. The first is ethnocentrism, which is defined by anthropologist as the belief that one’s own way is correct. (Shchultz and Lavenda:2013 28) There are numerous accounts of this ideology throughout history which has resulted into some of worst human acts that were ever committed. When the Europeans began colonization in Africa, Australia and in North America they strongly believed that the Europeans culture was the superior culture. This led to the annihilations of multiple cultures and religions throughout these regions because the European began to convert these indigenous people to the “better civilization”. The next term used to acquaint a new culture is called cultural relativism, which has multiple variations, but in “Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on The Human Condition” they define this term as someone relating their own culture to another culture that they are not familiar with. Also main goal of cultural relativism is to promote an understanding of seemingly odd cultural practices that rang in morality from bug eating to genocide. (Shchultz and Lavenda:2013 31) Also keep in mind this ideology is meant to be in a neutral stand among these different cultures despite the observers own moral concepts. An example that could be given is female
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