Franz Boas The Importance Of Cultural Relativity

Since the late 19th century and 20th century, Anthropology has become a growing human science. It is the understanding of human experiences and social evolution that captivate the students of this science. As the field of Anthropology becomes increasingly studied, the tactics and methods of studying groups of people have changed to truly captivate their cultures. During the early 20th century, anthropologist Franz Boas created the term cultural relativity which was defined as, every culture and society must be understood on its own terms, not that of outsiders. This means that as an anthropologist, to truly study a society, immersing yourself with no biased thought and an open mind are the most important aspects. Cultural relativity is closely related to another key term, cultural relativism. This is the idea that we should not make judgments about other cultures even if it seems morally wrong. While this is probably the most difficult discipline to actively practice, cultural relativism allows for all sides of unique social differences, gives insight towards the reasoning for “strange” practices, and is essential to all anthropological studies.

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Refraining from seeing traditions as strange or inhumane, you start to see how each ritual has embedded itself into such varied societies. Still being one of the most difficult mentalities to control, it is essential to all anthropological studies, because sciences find the truth. Immersing yourself and becoming as close as you can to being a member of different culture is the best way to fully understand their methods. Anthropologist should and must employ cultural relativism into all parts of their study, as it will reveal the true way of life that people live. As anthropology becomes more popular, the importance of discovering how societies really work becomes even

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