Cultural/Anthrartivism And Cultural Relativism

1785 Words 8 Pages
Human rights, those rights that are endowed to every individual, has been a developing discourse, involving many factors, and aims to attain some basic level of equality amongst all humans. In 1948, the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights (UNHDR) was enacted; this document, which emerged as a direct result of the atrocities committed during World War II, lists thirty not-legally binding articles, each outlining these intrinsic and inalienable rights. Among these, the following are included: the choice to life, the right to not be a slave, freedom of religion, and the necessity of a primary school education. Anthropology, the field of the study that focuses on different aspects of the individual across both past and present societies, …show more content…
This practice heavily questions the concept of cultural relativism and uses a more hands-on approach. Cultural relativism is tolerating any and all differences and it is incompatible with making any moral judgments about these differences. In a uniformed culturally relativist world, one would not have any objection to female genital mutilation if those who practiced it found it an integral part of their culture. Failing to grasp the true nature of culture, cultural relativism makes the assumption that culture is a unitary and unique whole (Preis 2009: 341). Those who accept the cultural/anthropological technique do not, however, welcome the notion of cultural relativism. In addition, for several reasons, advocates of this technique are normally not involved in human rights research and formulation. Firstly, they are avid proponents of collective rights. Their fuel for some basis of human equality is supporting those who have been oppressed, such as indigenous groups. Secondly, instead of using theory, supporters of this method prefer to apply the theory and use action to improve the living conditions in small-scale societies. Thirdly, anthropologists who do partake in the research and formulation of human rights have simply disregarded the critical questioning of the political legitimacies of sovereign states. Therefore, those who triumph a cultural/anthropological practice want to ask these questions and want to find answers, not ignore them. Fourthly, the United Nations human rights committees that are tasked with creating these documents are dominated by legal discourse. These rights are for all of mankind, but with the copious amounts of pretentious vocabulary, it is difficult for the layperson to understand his or her rights. Proponents of this alternative defend a more conversational and relaxed tone when it comes to the drafting of these important documents.

Related Documents