Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism examples. 1.8: Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism 2022-10-12
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Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are two contrasting ways of understanding and evaluating the customs, beliefs, and behaviors of people in different cultures. Ethnocentrism is the belief in the superiority of one's own culture and the tendency to judge other cultures by the standards of one's own. Cultural relativism, on the other hand, is the recognition that different cultures have their own unique values, beliefs, and practices and that they should be understood and evaluated within their own cultural context.
An example of ethnocentrism can be seen in the way that some Western societies have historically viewed the practices of other cultures as primitive or barbaric. For example, in the past, Westerners have looked down upon the practice of female genital mutilation in some African cultures as being barbaric and have tried to impose their own cultural values on these societies by banning the practice. This approach reflects an ethnocentric attitude that views the Western way of doing things as the only acceptable way and fails to recognize that the practice may hold significant cultural and spiritual meaning within the context of those societies.
On the other hand, cultural relativism encourages people to try to understand and appreciate the unique values and practices of other cultures without judgment. This can be seen in the way that anthropologists and other cultural researchers approach their studies. Instead of imposing their own cultural values on the societies they study, they try to understand the cultural practices and beliefs of those societies within their own cultural context.
One example of cultural relativism is the way that some cultures view the concept of individualism versus collectivism. In Western societies, individualism is highly valued, with a strong emphasis on personal autonomy and self-reliance. In contrast, many Asian cultures place a greater emphasis on collectivism, with a stronger focus on group harmony and the well-being of the community as a whole. An ethnocentric approach would view the collectivist values of these cultures as inferior to the individualist values of Western societies, while a culturally relativistic approach would recognize and respect the different cultural values and practices of these societies.
In conclusion, ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are two contrasting ways of understanding and evaluating the customs, beliefs, and behaviors of people in different cultures. Ethnocentrism involves judging other cultures by the standards of one's own, while cultural relativism involves trying to understand and appreciate the unique values and practices of other cultures within their own cultural context. Understanding and embracing cultural relativism can lead to greater cultural understanding and appreciation, while ethnocentrism can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.
Ethnocentrism: Definition, Meaning & Examples
According to the International Labor Organization ILO , 1 in 10 of all children worldwide are in child labor, or 160 million children in absolute terms ILO, 2020. To the Inuit people, winning was enjoyable, but their culture valued survival skills essential to their environment: how hard someone tried could mean the difference between life and death. Over the course of his stay, Barger participated in caribou hunts, learned how to take shelter in winter storms, and sometimes went days with little or no food to share among tribal members. With this concept, you are truly able to understand a culture for who they are and enjoy all of their values without judging them for being different than you. Though he does not mandate that they change their own viewpoint, he asks that they at least discuss different perspectives on the issue. Jurnal Penelitian Humaniora, 20 2 , 89-97. War and genocide could be the devastating result if a group is unwilling to change their ways of living or cultural practices.
European colonizers often viewed the people in the lands they colonized as uncultured savages who were in need of European governance, dress, religion, and other cultural practices. Toward ethical commitment: Avoiding MNC entanglement in modern slavery. In the airport, she heard rapid, musical Spanish being spoken all around her. Sociologists attempting to engage in cultural relativism, then, may struggle to reconcile aspects of their own culture with aspects of a culture they are studying. It can also involve a belief that our cultural practices are superior to others. In Madagascar, for example, the famahidana funeral tradition includes bringing bodies out from tombs once every seven years, wrapping them in cloth, and dancing with them. Next, have students read and learn from those with perspectives different from their own.
Practicing cultural relativism requires an open mind and a willingness to consider, and even adapt to, new values and norms. Breastfeeding in public is The moralization of a health issue e. Each time Nathan teaches an historical event, topic, or concept, he incorporates an exercise that asks students to look at the same events or topic from a different cultural vantage point. The cultural relativist perspective stands against Chris Drew PhD Origins of Cultural Relativism The idea of cultural relativism sprang from the research and writings of Frank Boas 1887; 1901. While they differ in how they look at other people from differing backgrounds, culture serves as the basis of their exploration of different cultures.
Experiencing new cultures offers an opportunity to practice cultural relativism. Some cultures find it offensive while others embrace it. Child Labor Child labor is widespread in the Global South, but not confined to it. For a long period, ethnocentrism was the norm for understanding the context of a culture in human interactions. The film is a great example of a migrant family who not only wants to retain their cultural heritage but looks upon the dominant culture with suspicion, distaste, and even sometimes scorn.
Teaching Students About Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism
The stated goal was to assimilate the first nations children into white Canadian culture. Because Isaac is ethnocentric, he will judge that culture through the lens of his own experience. Research comparing diagnoses of mental health disorders from the UK and the US revealed that, even within Western cultures, views of what is and isn't normal differ. Examples Cultural relativism explains why, for example, what constitutes breakfast varies widely from place to place. Cultural Relativism: Beyond the Ethnocentric Approach Cultural relativism promotes understanding of cultural differences rather than judging them. What is right or wrong is whatever a culture perceives as right or wrong. When confronted with the cannibals, Crusoe wrestles with the problem of cultural relativism.
Ethnocentrism can be so strong that when confronted with all of the differences of a new culture, one may experience disorientation and frustration. What is ethnocentrism and cultural relativism essay? Sanai had been forced to flee war-torn Bosnia with her family when she was fifteen. But, be sure to stay open-minded and avoid making unfair judgements of others. Franz Boas established this concept in the early decades of the twentieth century. In other words, it would be morally wrong for Susan to have an abortion if Susan believed that abortion is always morally wrong. The Difference Between Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are both terms that center around culture, which is defined as the beliefs, attitudes, social forms, and characteristics of a social group that people share over place and time.
Given that Zahra is a cultural relativist, she does not judge her friend but rather learns about why her friend and her family paint their faces. He refers to his own parents, who had what he claims to be a "normal" marriage where people choose one other, as an example of what marriage should look like. Practicing cultural relativism requires an open mind and a willingness to consider, and even adapt to, new values and norms. Even though, it is not easier to accept the beliefs, values and practices of other cultures it is essential not to become judgmental and harsher towards any specific cultural value and norms. This can lead people to assume that the way things are in their culture is universal, and this bias can also transfer to the way we conduct research. As a result, the level of biasness and lack of uniformity from such cultural values that vary depending with individuals from one ethnic group to the other can enhance increased superiority of diverse cultures. D espite the fact that cultural relativism promotes the appreciation for cultural differences, it can also be problematic.
The Concepts of Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
Accessed October 27, 2022. . Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism As a high school social studies teacher, Nathan is interested in helping his students develop their critical thinking skills, or capacity to be analytical and take on multiple perspectives. Then, he encourages them to think, talk and write about where these values come from. It can take weeks or months to recover from culture shock, and it can take years to fully adjust to living in a new culture.