Cultural Relativism And Cultural Diversity Essay

859 Words Oct 12th, 2016 4 Pages
When observing different cultures, it is suggested to take the anthropological perspective into thought. Rather than being narrow-minded, this perspective encourages anthropologists and others to take in different aspects and points of views when encountering a culture and their values. One aspects of this anthropological perspective is cultural relativism. Cultural relativism suggests that an observer cannot apply ones understanding of one culture to another, rather a culture must be understood and evaluated in relation and relative to itself. By definition, it is “the reaction to the fact of cultural diversity in which one attempts to understand and judge the behavior of another culture in terms of its standards or good, normal, moral, legal, etc. rather than one’s own”. Lack of proper cultural relativism is likely the result of ethnocentrism. Further, ethnocentrism results in a culture shock when one is introduced to another cultures ‘unusual’ values which are different of one’s own. However, this does not conclude that something one culture believes as true is correct, and the other opposing cultures are wrong. Such is exemplified in texts including The Wayfinders by Wade Davis and in documentaries such as A Man Called ‘Bee’ and Maasai on the Move. Within texts and documentaries discussed in class, it can be observed that culture shock is a result of ethnocentrism, which in turn can be caused by a lack of cultural relativism. Ethnocentrism can be summarized as the…

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