Instructor Sweet February 24, 2015
It’s obvious that cultural relativism is the belief that one’s own people’s religion is righteous, one’s own people’s art is beautiful, one’s own values and beliefs are true. The question is “since all cultures are separate, and all have a value system, are they equal? And if they (cultures) are equal, why aren’t they treated equally.
“Most cultures exhibit a particular configuration or style. A single value or pattern of perceiving the world often leaves its stamp on several institutions in the society”. (Miner, 1956) I believe education is one of the most important aspects of a strong society. Without education a society will become a breeding ground for violence and poverty. With education a society will promote peace, understanding, innovation and growth. Until the opening of public schools very few blacks received an education. Although blacks are attending school, their performance is below the level of whites. Should we develop a program that is more culturally relevant to them as so they can understand their culture? This means that teachers should understand the different language backgrounds and support it in the academic content. When a student is shown that his or her culture is respected, they are empowered to learn, and that negative self-image is eliminated. Miner spoke about the ritual of the Nacirema, and how they believed that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. They used rituals and ceremony to prevent this. The Nacirema society, just as the African American society will thrive to validate its belief by learning and practicing its traditions.
“Discriminatory treatment of socially defined ‘racial’ groups is generally rationalized by the idea that different races are biologically endowed with different abilities. Yet there is no scientific evidence that any racial group is superior or inferior to any other in its innate cultural abilities. Neither is there evidence of racial differences in individual’s abilities to learn and adequately participate in any cultural system when they are given an equal opportunity to learn necessary skills”. (Carpo, 2013) The individuals in the black society, just as all other societies are bound by the rules of their culture. This culture is learned, transmitted, and the values are carried out by the group. These values guide decision making, thinking, and actions.
This society has been discriminated against for a long time. Carlos Gradin wrote a paper to examine the evidence about black and white differences in income. Some of the disparities are educational, occupational, and geographic. However the main reason for this income gap is race.
The African American culture is a religious one. An example is the way funeral rites are carried out. Just as many other cultures do, funerals are an expression of grief. They dispose of the dead and have rituals that define the relations between the living and the dead. “Religion and spirituality are of central importance in the lives of the majority of African Americans”. (Gutierrez, 2014). In this article Gutierrez states that 90% of African Americans report that they are absolutely certain that there is a God. Religious beliefs play a major role in the lives of these individuals. These beliefs are transmitted from the elderly