Ethnocentric View Of Honor Killings

Decent Essays
Foreign cultures can often be very intriguing but difficult to understand. Living in the United States does not expose us to the beliefs and ethics of cultures outside of our own, which makes it hard to study a foreign culture without judgement. Sociologist especially are expected to look at the world as a Cultural Relativist. This means that they should try to understand the cultural practice on the culture's own term and not on our own, and to cast no moral judgements upon them. However this can be difficult to do, especially when the practice sacrifices people's lives, such as Honor Killings. In this scenario, I believe it is acceptable to speak out against a culture's traditions and have an Ethnocentric view. Honor Killings have been…show more content…
Although this is difficult to fathom without casting judgement, it can help us to further understand the cultures in which this is practiced. In these societies how honorable your family name is, is a very important factor in life. If a women were to dishonor her family by acting without their permission, it is considered very disrespectful and shameful on the family. Also in these cultures, men have a patriarchal role in the family and in marriages, and have more freedom and rights than their women counterparts. They are the ones that continue the family name and therefore are held at greater value. Women are essentially considered worthless and socially below the men in this society. This is the main reason why the men are rarely the victims of honor killings. In an article in which Islam condones the act of honor killing it says, “Family guardians will say that they are merely following the directives set down in their Islamic ethical beliefs.” In this culture it makes sense, and is of the utmost importance to remove “the stain” of…show more content…
That is why it is important to have an ethnocentric view of Honor Killings so that actions can be taken to stop it. Although Honor Killings are part of the Muslim tradition and culture, it does not mean that they should be accepted as just. As the world progresses and evolves, cultures and traditions must evolve with it; what has been seen as acceptable in the past, is no longer accepted by many cultures throughout the world. Viewing Honor Killings through a cultural relativist position could be detrimental to the women living under these conditions. Thousands of lives could be saved and these women could be given further opportunities to achieve the life they wish to live if people view Honor Killings as
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