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.
Ethnocentrism, as stated above, means the belief that one’s own culture is above and beyond all other cultures. Although this is somewhat of a shallow definition, it still provides an adequate explanation of a very complex issue. We see ethnocentrism every single day, in all aspects of life. The United States of America is a prime example of ethnocentrism is action. The people of this country have a tendency to disregard other cultures, instead believing that American culture is the only way to go. This is not to say that this is how everyone thinks, although most people, at one time or another, have had thoughts along these lines.
After the terrorist attack of 9/11, there was an immediate shift into almost hatred of any person of Arabic descent...
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- Wade Davis, a famous anthropologist, writer, explorer, and other professions, stated “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” The quote means that because a person is not like you or your culture does not make them inferior. It makes them unique in their own way. On the other side of the spectrum is David Eller who stated “Insularity is the foundation of ethnocentrism and intolerance; when you only know of those like yourself, it is easy to imagine that you are alone in the world or alone in being good and right in the world.... [tags: Wade Davis, Anthropologist, Writer, Explorer]
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- It is always troublesome not to understand another culture, especially, in New York City where we live in a society that is rapidly changing. The City has increasingly brought people of various cultures, to interact closer with each other. This interaction can be either positive or negative depending on the level of sensitivity and respect people have for other culture groups. These two types of behaviors are related to two important concepts known as ethnocentrism and cultural relativity. Ethnocentrism is “the attitude of prejudice or mistrust towards outsiders that may exist within a group (in-group) in relation to other (out-group)”….... [tags: essays research papers]
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- According to Taylor culture is defined as a complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs ,arts ,morals ,laws and customs and any other capabilities acquired by man as members of the society. Anthropologists like Hertzkorits define it as a man-made part of the environment. Kluckhon and Kelly define culture as all that is historically created design for living explicitly and implicitly, rational and irrational which exists at any given time as potential behavior of man. The first meaning presents culture as an idea and a realm of observable phenomena of things and events out there in the world.... [tags: Culture Relativism, Ethnocentrism]
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- Are we limited in knowledge, in imagination, and in understanding by the culture we grow up in. In other words, are we ethnocentric, and if so is it a bad thing. To answer that, one must understand what ethnocentrism is. According to Macionis (2004), ethnocentrism is “the practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture”. We are not born with culture; culture is a socially learned behavior, or set of values that a given groups holds as a norm and are considered to be true and right.... [tags: ethnocentric culture essays research papers]
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- To view one’s own culture as the universal by which all others are judged would be ultimately subjective, as our perceptions of cultural differences are shaped largely by our immersion in our own culture. An ethnocentric approach stems from judging an alternate culture in relation to one’s own pre-conceived cultural values, held to be superior; the parallax phenomenon, the inability to escape our own biases, prevents objective analysis of different cultures. A cultural relativist maintains the post-modernist view that there is no moral or cultural high-ground with which to judge one culture in relation to another, thus each culture must be understood from its own perspective, and within its... [tags: essays research papers]
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The Value of Cultural Relativism: Comparing Peace Corp Volunteer Floyd Sandford’s African Odyssey and Anthropologist Richard Lee’s Dobe Ju/’hoansi
- Even a student that has been educated for only four weeks in anthropology can admit that their viewpoint has changed since acquiring their knowledge. Studying a foreign way of life and unfamiliar customs sheds light on the impact that one’s own culture has on their thoughts. Anthropology is valuable because has the ability to remove the shock and misunderstanding that occurs when examining an alien worldview. The value of cultural relativism, the principle that one culture should not be judged by the standard of another culture, is illustrated in the comparison of Peace Corp volunteer Floyd Sandford’s African Odyssey and anthropologist Richard Lee’s Dobe Ju/’hoansi.... [tags: anthropology, culture]
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- During the civil movement many African-Americans were fighting hard for their human rights, but peacefully. A very crucial element that was the freedom rides. Activists who would go on the bus were both black and white and at every bus stop there was such harsh violence some of the freedom riders would die. At the time, the South’s ideal culture was that African-Americans should not move forward. This is class conflict; in this case the ruling classes were discriminating against blacks and that were not allowed to ride the same bus as white people, and decided to rebel peacefully.... [tags: Discrimination, Civil Rights, African Americans]
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- Cultural Relativism as Applied to Female Genital Mutilation "I remember the blade. How it shone. There was a woman kneeling over me with the knife. I bit her; it was all I could do. Then three women came to hold me down. One of them sat on my chest. I bit her with all my might." These words reflect Banassiri Sylla’s account of her experience undergoing female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), at the young age of eight in the Ivory Coast. This disturbing description of her struggle makes it hard to understand why any culture could support such a practice.... [tags: Human Rights]
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- Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is the name given to a tendency to interpret or evaluate other cultures in terms of one's own. This tendency has been, perhaps, more prevalent in modern nations than among preliterate tribes. The citizens of a large nation, especially in the past, have been less likely to observe people in another nation or culture than have been members of small tribes who are well acquainted with the ways of their culturally diverse neighbours. Thus, the American tourist could report that Londoners drive "on the wrong side of the street" or an Englishman might find some customs on the Continent "queer" or "boorish," merely because they are different.... [tags: Papers]
1801 words (5.1 pages)
- Ethical Relativism What is right and wrong is a widely opinionated discrepancy among the human race. It varies between cultures, societies, religion, traditions, and endless influential factors. Ethical relativism is described by John Ladd as the “doctrine that the moral rightness and wrongness of actions varies from society and that there are no absolute universal moral standards binding on all men at all times.... [tags: Papers]
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