Essay On Cultural Relativism

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Cultural Relativism in the Workplace

Cultural Relativism is “to learn about another people 's perspective, one has to try to overcome one 's own cultural framework.” (Cultural Anthropology, p.39). The is the overall job of anthropologists but can see in other fields of study such as medicine. Many anthropologists have influenced the cultures in which they became involved in by accident. This can be seen in the article “Christmas in the Kalahari” where the anthropologist in integrating his culture to the tribe there and the use of an ox for dinner in misinterpreted. In this case, the Robert Lee failed to exercise cultural relativism, because they saw the ox he picked as an old bag of bones, rather than a healthy ox, for the Christmas
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This article is showing the irony of the American civilization and the harsh methods used by doctors during the time the article was written c. 1940. In my profession I hope exercise the breech of cultural relativism when observing health care methods by changing the way patients are cared for. Perhaps, from an anthropological perspective I will, like Lee, discover the customs of making new medicines and thereby reform my thinking to improve the scale of living to patients. Unlike Lee, this would be a third party involvement of the patients. Lee learned something of humility from the Bushmen and giving gifts of the wrong motives. I could learn from the otherwise selfish researchers and give back to the patients in need of a better quality of care. In my view, cultural relativism would more be used in the field of psychology because they are trained to observe human behavior. They must first study human behavior much like anthropologists do, before truly being able to help a client in any way. The article refers to these beings as the “listeners” (Miner, 26). The job of the “listener” affords that he sacrifices his role a merely an observer, as he steps into the primary role of caring for the patient. The only exception to this, would be in a test study of subjects for the advancement of psychology, in which the experimenter would use cultural relativism to collect the data rather than treat the patient. The psychologist would then perform the function of writing down the observations of the patients, as an anthropologist would do when observing a new culture. Not all cultures have traits that distinguish them from the other cultures and can therefore be classified according to a pattern. Just as patients explaining certain symptoms to a psychologist can mimic those of others with similar cases and

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