Cultrual Relativism Essay

Submitted By hbenny
Words: 632
Pages: 3

Cultural Relativism

In order to fully comprehend the idea of different cultures, one must combine all the pieces of the puzzle and look at the picture as a whole. An unfinished puzzle can only lead to misconceptions and narrowed views on an idea and that is why I, Franz Boas, concluded that the holistic approach to studying anthropology is the most accurate. By piecing together peoples unique languages, cultures, physical and biological aspects, and their archaeology we can better understand culture because we can view the portrait as a whole instead of one small unfinished piece. Culture is an aspect that evolves and changes over time and it differs among people across the globe. Cultural relativism is an idea that accepts diversity among cultures. What may be accepted in one culture may be rejected in another, and therefore, looking at cultural with a neutral outlook will allow for a better understanding of this socially learned concept. Throughout history, different groups have felt that their culture and beliefs were more superior to others, creating conflict in society. Such cultural problems arose from rulers such as Hitler, who tried to abolish the Jewish culture and declare that his Aryan background was superior over all others. History created the rise of ethnocentrism, which leads people to misunderstand other cultures and creates discrimination among people. My concept of cultural relativism surrounds itself with the positive idea that looking at a culture with an open mind and without any biased is the best way to understand why people act the way they do and follow unique cultural norms and values. By placing yourself in another person’s shoes, you are better able to view their ideas and points of views equally. Using a scientific perspective when analyzing cultural differences reduces the amount of prejudiced a person feels about a cultural background, allowing people to openly understand why cultures differ.

Those who agree with the comparative method of anthropology concur that in order to distinguish between cultures, comparisons must be established. Comparing two cultures allows for judging to come into place, which creates preconceived notions and stereotypes about cultures. People who believe in the comparative method disagree with my perspective on cultural relativism because in their eyes, culture needs to be compared and judged in an evolutionary approach. Comparative theorists such as Luis Henry Morgan classified humanity from primitive to barbaric and to civilized culture. After much thought and evaluation, I must say I