Essay on Cultural Relativism : American Culture And Values

Essay on Cultural Relativism : American Culture And Values

Length: 1289 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Over the years, American culture and values have constantly evolved. This evolution has been aided by the invention of new technologies, gaining new knowledge and discovering new things, and the transmission of foreign items and social practices (D. Kendall 56-57). Immigration can also be a driving force in the evolution of a society for all of the information and practices we have gained from other cultures. America is often called a melting pot because for hundreds of years people from all over the world have come to seek the American Dream. Diversity plays a big part in American culture and is often used as a selling point for communities, workplaces, or even universities. However, people tend to think their racial group is better than others, which can lead to discrimination (Diana Kendall 53). While this country was founded on the ideals that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, when it comes to people of a different culture, they are often forgotten or disregarded.
Cultural relativism is the belief that the behaviors and customs of a culture must be viewed and analyzed by its own standards (D. Kendall 61). Every culture has different customs, values, beliefs, and traditions, so comparing the morality of two cultures with different views on what is morally correct based on their own morals is not possible. However, every culture has subcultures that share something in common to separate them from the dominant culture (D. Kendall 58). In America, polygamy is considered immoral and is illegal, however, in Saudi Arabia, polygamy is acceptable. While Americans grow up believing polygamy is wrong, how can we prove that it is morally incorrect if there are people in other cu...


... middle of paper ...


...ng someone of another culture. While immigration has always been an important part of American culture, in recent years it has been a much debated topics. From the popular notion that “immigrants steal jobs from American citizens” to darker accusations, the debate goes to the fact that America is a country built and sustained by immigrants. While there are many ethnocentric Americans who patronize immigrants and refugees for their differences in values or traditions, there are others who embrace diversity and practice cultural relativism towards other cultures. Is the American way the best way? There is no way to accurately measure morality because there are so many cultural differences in the world. In any culture there is definitely room for improvement and we should all observe other cultures with a relativist perspective and always strive to better ourselves.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Diversity Of Moral Values Through The Theory Of Cultural Relativism

- This study will define the diversity of moral values through the theory of Cultural Relativism (CR) that refutes the paradigm that there is a “right” or “wrong” in the moral paradigms of differing cultures. Rachel defines the important moral question of macrocosmic moral paradigms that claim ”righteousness”, yet individual societies have their own moral codes that deviate from these norms. CR defines the importance of diverse moral perspectives throughout the world, which refute any type of absolutist definition of morality....   [tags: Morality, Culture, Sociology, Cultural relativism]

Better Essays
1133 words (3.2 pages)

Cultural Relativism And The Moral Values Of People From Other Cultures Essay

- 2. Is it wrong to criticise the moral practices of people from other cultures. How would a Cultural Relativist answer that question. How would you answer that question. There are many ethical issues and beliefs that come into debate when the practices of another culture are believed to be immoral, cultural relativism is an attempt at solving these moral disputes by encouraging an attitude of tolerance to all cultural practices. The principle of cultural relativism that holds that the practices of another culture cannot be judged as right or wrong on any independent standard as morality is dependant on one’s own cultural upbringing....   [tags: Morality, Cultural relativism, Culture, Value]

Better Essays
1638 words (4.7 pages)

Cultural Relativism And Moral Values Essay

- Cultural relativism is the term given to the idea that there are no universal moral values that apply to all mankind and that every culture has its own set of moral principles. This set of principles varies from culture to culture, and it is extremely rare, if not totally impossible, to find a moral principle that is followed by all cultures. For example, the idea of arranged marriages, which is the concept of two families marrying their son and daughter even though they don’t particularly know each other, is fairly common in Indian culture but non-existent in American culture....   [tags: Morality, Cultural relativism, Moral relativism]

Better Essays
1457 words (4.2 pages)

Cultural Relativism And Its Impact On Society Essay

- Anthropologically speaking, individuals and society cannot function without the other. In order to study past and present cultures and societies, anthropologists, like Ruth Benedict, use a theory called cultural relativism. Benedict describes three different societies and the influence they either receive or do not receive from their society along with certain abnormalities that occur throughout other cultures. She describes and studies these cultures without prejudices influencing her research....   [tags: Culture, Anthropology, Cultural relativism]

Better Essays
1739 words (5 pages)

Ethics, Cultural Relativism, And Subjective Relativism Essays

- As we discussed chapter 3, I learned about Ethical Relativism, meta-ethics, cultural relativism, objective relativism, and subjective relativism. This topic is very difficult for me to come to an agreement based on someone’s cultural belief and practices. For starters, meta-ethics is a branch of ethics that deals with the meaning of moral principles and/or statements and their “truth” status in the world. Meta-ethics focuses on the religious beliefs and cultural practices and whether is right or wrong or good and bad....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Moral relativism]

Better Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Essay examples

- Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism 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....   [tags: Ethnocentrism Cultural Relativism Culture Essays]

Better Essays
500 words (1.4 pages)

Cultural Relativism And The Cultural Perspective Essay

- Cultural Relativism is the view that all moral beliefs and ethical systems, are all equally valid. No one system is better than any other, no matter the variance from culture to culture. Further, Cultural Relativism follows that these beliefs and ethical systems should be understood by everyone else in the terms of their own individual culture. The Cultural Relativist believes there are no universal moral beliefs, and that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil. Instead, they believe each society has customs and beliefs that differ from each other and every judgement of right or wrong is a product of each society....   [tags: Morality, Cultural relativism, Ethics, Culture]

Better Essays
1273 words (3.6 pages)

The Merits And Pitfalls Of Cultural Relativism Essay

- Assess the merits and pitfalls of cultural relativism in contemporary anthropology. Cultural relativism is a contentious methodological and theoretical stance in anthropology, which advises that cultures should only be contemplated in their own context. This was conceptualised by Franz Boas (Boas, 1904). It rests on the idea that cultures are formed through the accumulative process of enculturation. Each culture has evolved in its own circumstances, thus it cannot be judged from a different framework (Herskovitz, 1955)....   [tags: Culture, Cultural relativism]

Better Essays
1829 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Cultural Relativism Is A Moral Theory

- Cultural Relativism is a moral theory which states that due to the vastly differing cultural norms held by people across the globe, morality cannot be judged objectively, and must instead be judged subjectively through the lense of an individuals own cultural norms. Because it is obvious that there are many different beliefs that are held by people around the world, cultural relativism can easily be seen as answer to the question of how to accurately and fairly judge the cultural morality of others, by not doing so at all....   [tags: Culture, Cultural relativism, Morality, Value]

Better Essays
1079 words (3.1 pages)

Cultural Relativism Is A Weak Argument Essay

- In this paper I will argue that cultural relativism is a weak argument. Cultural relativism is the theory that all ethical and moral claims are relative to culture and custom (Rachels, 56). Pertaining to that definition, I will present the idea that cultural relativism is flawed in the sense that it states that there is no universal standard of moral and ethical values. First, I will suggest that cultural relativism underestimates similarities between cultures. Second, I will use the overestimating differences perspective to explain the importance of understanding context, intention and purpose behind an act....   [tags: Morality, Cultural relativism, Culture, Ethics]

Better Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)