Any person that would judge somebody on their cultural standards or traditions is guilty of ethnocentrism. When people are guilty of this they believe that what they’ve learned is right is the most superior and what other people and cultures do is completely abnormal and weird. On the other hand cultural relativism is quite opposite; it is the belief that all cultures are equally valid and no culture is more superior then another when comparing them.
Ethnocentrism is the tendency to assume that ones own culture and way of life represents the norm or is superior to others. Americans in particular tend to be very ethnocentric in part because the United States has been perceived as a superpower for most of its existence, and in part because of the global influence of American media. Patriotism and love for ones country is also instilled in Americans from an early age to a greater extent then in other countries. For example, American children recite to the pledge of allegiance to begin each new school day and the national anthem is played at most sporting events.
In “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism”, James Rachels presents six claims that have been made by cultural relativists. One of the six claims that Rachels presents in section 2.2 of the article is that different societies have different moral codes. I believe that Rachels thinks this claim is true. Section 2.1 of the article does a good job at explaining this idea. In this section, Rachels gives several examples of the differences that can be found in moral codes of different people groups throughout time. One of the specific examples he mentions is the different burial rituals of the Greeks and the Callatians. The Greeks perform a ritual that includes burning the dead. The Callatian ritual consists of eating the dead. The Greeks and Callatians, while encountering each other, both stated that the other’s ritual was inhumane. This disagreement, according to Cultural Relativism, is okay and to be expected because the two moral codes come from two drastically different societies. A modern example of this claim is that up until recently in China, small feet were praised and larger feet were frowned upon for women. Radical efforts to prevent women’s feet from growing included foot-binding. This method of prevention caused women to constantly be in pain. Women’s foot size in the United States isn’t emphasized like the way it used to be in China. Therefore, citizens of the United States believe that Chinese foot-binding was a barbaric method, while people in China would think
All throughout history African Americans have been discriminated against and always been at a disadvantage, whether it be in the courtroom, with police officers, or just trying to be a normal American citizen. Recently many minority players are taking a stand against the prejudice injustices that they face on an everyday basis. In response to the injustices they face, using their national fame, the athletes are raising awareness by taking a knee during the National Anthem, in an attempt to peacefully protest. This bold form of protest has only occurred a handful amount of times, because of not only the national criticism that is to follow but the repercussions as well. Many American citizens, veterans and government officials are taking
It is so easy to access your own culture to examine aspects; however, this paper will flip the script using an etic view to gain a better understanding of American culture from an outsider’s perspective while taking on an insider’s perspective to examine another culture, Japan using an emic view. Cultural relativism tells us that we must examine beliefs and activities of other cultures with a meaningful understanding of the context of that particular culture, background, history, and practices from an emic perspective without prejudice or superiority (Crapo, 2013).
The United States of America was founded on July 4, 1776. Seeking a life free of the British Government, a host of immigrants founded a new nation. Because the United States was created by the migration of people from various parts of the world, it is sometimes described as a “melting pot.” Along with their personal possessions, these immigrants brought their respective cultures and traditions as they meshed together into a new society. Despite being categorized together as citizens of the same country, the independent traditions and lifestyles of humankind have created challenges throughout history. It is important for Americans to share a sense of pride, patriotism and loyalty. Equally important, however, is the need for respect regarding differences and individualism. Ethnocentrism is a barrier between understanding culture and diversity.
Cultural relativism is the theory where there is no objective truth in morality, and moral truths are determined by different cultures. The primary argument used to justify cultural relativism is the cultural differences argument, which claims different cultures have different moral practices and beliefs, therefore, there is no objective truth in morality (Newton). After reading James Rachels The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, I find his criticisms to be persuasive because the argument made for Cultural Relativism is not sound from a logical point of view. You cannot draw a conclusion about what is factual based on what people believe is factual. Rachels also points out that even though cultures do in fact disagree about moral values,
Cultural relativism is the way society separates right from wrong within a culture. What we describe as “good” and “bad” is based off of our cultural beliefs. Cultural relativism argues that no culture is better than any other and all their beliefs are equally valid. The way that modern society is has made it possible for almost everything to be justified.
A concept that has helped me to understand the social world is ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is defined as the attitude that one 's own culture is the best and others are inferior. On the micro level, it is now clear to me that I have demonstrated ethnocentrism in my dealings with individuals and this might account for some of the problems that have come about in individual friendships. On the macro level, ethnocentrism has helped me to understand why world peace is so elusive.
We must first understand the two distinct theories regarding perception of outside cultures: Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism. Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion - these ethnic distinctions and subdivisions serve to define each ethnicity’s unique cultural identity. The logical alternative to ethnocentrism is Cultural relativism, the practice of judging a
Cultural relativism is the way society separates right from wrong within a culture. What we describe as “good” and “bad” is based off of our cultural beliefs. No culture is better than any other and all their beliefs are equally valid. The way that modern society is has made it possible for almost everything to be justified.
Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are two contrasting terms that are displayed by different people all over the world. Simply put, ethnocentrism is defined as “judging other groups from the perspective of one’s own cultural point of view.” Cultural relativism, on the other hand, is defined as “the view that all beliefs are equally valid and that truth itself is relative, depending on the situation, environment, and individual.” Each of these ideas has found its way into the minds of people worldwide. The difficult part is attempting to understand why an individual portrays one or the other. It is a question that anthropologists have been asking themselves for years.
The general study of humans and their ways of life is called Anthropology. Anthropology have four classic subdivisions: Cultural (or socio-cultural) Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics Anthropology and Biological (or physical) Anthropology. He or she who typically had some training in each of these four classic subdivisions in fact, have connected them to one another within a large field anthropology study. Moreover, he or she can use the theoretical knowledge and findings of anthropology to solve real-world problems surrounding human beings or human customs. Anthropologist has an idea that the beliefs and practices of a culture should be understood within the context that particular culture’s background, history and current events surrounding it called Cultural relativism. The main objective of this final research paper is examining my own culture from etic (i.e. outsider’s) perspective and another culture from emic (i.e. insider’s) perspective to clearly show my personal understanding of cultural relativism. Specifically, I will examine the rites of passage in African American girls/women lived reality and effects of the intersectional race, class and gender oppression in America coupled with discussing Japanese different rituals comparison to American outlook into death and the afterlife. All in all, rites of passage are done differently and makes a difference in its own society.
Cultural relativism is one of the core concepts of anthropology. Are there any limits to this concept? If so, what are they? Is there a place in anthropology for the idea of universal human rights?
If we look at the world today, there are millions of cultures centered everywhere. With this much cultures in the world, everyone is bound to believe that they’re all different. Even though they are different in some aspects, all of them are similar to each other in some way. So if this is the case, do we as human beings have the right to judge these cultures as ethically wrong or just a cultural difference? Cultural Relativism is the belief that we cannot judge the cultural practices of other societies and that we should let them do as they please. But if we cannot judge them, does it make it right when they threaten the lives of others? Through the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, we begin to have a deeper insight this idea of