Essay on Cultural Relativism : American Culture And Values

Essay on Cultural Relativism : American Culture And Values

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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 ... 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.

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