When people who speak such languages are shown a green chip, some identify it using their word for blue, others identify it using their word for yellow.
Statement on human rights[ edit ] The transformation of cultural relativism as a heuristic tool into the doctrine of moral relativism occurred in the context of the work of the Commission of Human Rights of the United Nations in preparing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This observation, which echoes the arguments about culture that originally led Boas to develop the principle, suggests that the use of cultural relativism in debates of rights and morals is not substantive but procedural. For politicians, moralists, and many social scientists but few anthropologists who saw science and human interests as necessarily independent or even opposed, however, the earlier Boasian principle of cultural relativism was anathema.
Cultural relativism is a view that a culture must be judged according to its own cultural standards. In a distinguished lecture before the American Anthropological Association inClifford Geertz pointed out that the conservative critics of cultural relativism did not really understand, and were not really responding to, the ideas of Benedict, Herskovits, Kroeber and Kluckhohn.
Boas and his students realized that if they were to conduct scientific research in other cultures, they would need to employ methods that would help them escape the limits of their own ethnocentrism. As a methodological and heuristic device[ edit ] According to George Marcus, Michael Fischer, and Sam Bohart, 20th century social and cultural anthropology has promised its still largely Western readership enlightenment on two fronts.
An Us vs Them mentality is not likely to foster understanding or positive discourse. In Clyde Kluckhohn who studied at Harvard, but who admired and worked with Boas and his students attempted to address this issue: For anthropologists working in this tradition, the doctrine of cultural relativism as a basis for moral relativism was anathema.
In it, she explained that: The rights of Man in the Twentieth Century cannot be circumscribed by the standards of any single culture, or be dictated by the aspirations of any single people. ChinaVietnamMyanmarCuba and Iran. They concluded that anthropologists must stick to science, and engage in debates over values only as individuals.
Anthropologists became aware of the diversity of culture. Cultural relativity means, on the contrary, that the appropriateness of any positive or negative custom must be evaluated with regard to how this habit fits with other group habits. What these different positions have in common, Geertz argued, is that they are all responding to the same thing: However, it is also obvious that authoritarians who know the complete answers beforehand will necessarily be intolerant of relativism: The bulk of this statement emphasizes concern that the Declaration of Human Rights was being prepared primarily by people from Western societies, and would express values that, far from being universal, are really Western: While breeding a healthy scepticism as to the eternity of any value prized by a particular people, anthropology does not as a matter of theory deny the existence of moral absolutes.
The result was a widening of a fundamental point of view, a departure from unconscious ethnocentricity toward relativity.
A great example of cultural relativism can be drawn from talking about differing food taboos from around the world. Ethnocentrism is sometimes called cultural ignorance. According to Andersen and Taylor 56some literatures have advanced the concept that the body type of an individual was linked to nonconformity or conformity.
The one has been the salvaging of distinct cultural forms of life from a process of apparent global Westernization. All of our experiences of the world are mediated through the human mind, which universally structures perceptions according to a priori concepts of time and space.
The basis for evaluation differs according to the view employed. Based on this subjective perception of other cultures, two types of views emerge when one compares two or more cultures.
Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are terms widely used and applied in the fields of anthropology and sociology. Political critique[ edit ] On the one hand, many anthropologists began to criticize the way moral relativism, in the guise of cultural relativism, is used to mask the effects of Western colonialism and imperialism.
Cultural relativism and ethnocentrism both rely on a cognitive dissonance between "Us" and "Them. Illustrate your answer with relevant examples. While each culture has specific and unique traits, there exist some traits that are found universally across all cultures of the world.
But it does require anyone engaged in a consideration of rights and morals to reflect on how their own enculturation has shaped their views: Ritchters and Waters 56 also criticized the theory by claiming that it places emphasis on the comparison of male and female genitalia with no clear evidence of doing so.
Although Kant considered these mediating structures universal, his student Johann Gottfried Herder argued that human creativity, evidenced by the great variety in national culturesrevealed that human experience was mediated not only by universal structures, but by particular cultural structures as well.
By contrasting the ease and freedom enjoyed by Samoan teenagers, Mead called into question claims that the stress and rebelliousness that characterize American adolescence is natural and inevitable. It is only since the development of the evolutional theory that it became clear that the object of study is the individual, not abstractions from the individual under observation.
This is most obvious in the case of language. It must also take into full account the individual as a member of a social group of which he is part, whose sanctioned modes of life shape his behavior, and with whose fate his own is thus inextricably bound. The tendency of relativism, which it never quite achieves, is to detach the anthropologist from all particular cultures.
Rather, the use of the comparative method provides a scientific means of discovering such absolutes. We have to study each ethnological specimen individually in its history and in its mediumWell, the difference between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism it's not a little one.
They are in fact two opposite ways of conceiving the relationship between cultures. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to think of your own culture as the norm an. The present world consists of a variety of unique cultures.
The differences and similarities observed between various cultures determine the way the people of those cultures interact with each other. The way individuals perceive other cultural practices can be broadly segregated into two types - cultural relativism and ethnocentrism.
Cultural relativism was in part a response to Western ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism may take obvious forms, in which one consciously believes that one's people's arts are the most beautiful, values the most virtuous, and beliefs the most truthful. One of the processes of anthropology is studying cultural relativism of society versus ethnocentrism.
Cultural Relativism Versus Ethnocentrism Philosophy Essay.
Print One of the processes of anthropology is studying cultural relativism of society versus ethnocentrism.
“Cultural relativism asserts that cultural values are arbitrary and. Cultural Relativism Essay Examples. A Comparison of Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism in the Western World.
words. 1 page. An Introduction to the Issue of Terrorism. words. A Comprehensive Comparison and Contrast of Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism.
words. 2 pages. Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism have a few things in common but are quite different attitudes in thinking about culture.
Ethnocentrism, as a term, can be understood by breaking it into two.Download