Similarities and Difference Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism
Jul 14, The two ideas we're going to discuss are ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. During the early days of contact between different cultures. Oct 20, In this connection, the uniqueness of one culture as compared to another Cultural relativism seems to be the other side of ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism in group and out group What is the fundamental.
How you respond really depends on whether you normally eat crispy fried insects or not. Is it part of your culture to have this dish? If it isn't, let us think of the different ways in which you can react. One of the ways you can react is to say, "Oh, my gosh, this is disgusting! What's the alternative way that we can actually judge a situation? One of the other things we can say is, "Yeah, you know what?
What are we doing here? We are actually, again, assessing and judging our friend's culture, but from a different viewpoint. We're judging and understanding their culture from within their culture. These different perspectives outlined That's why I drew this semicircle that you can see here, because, really, how we view these fried insects, how we view them is down to our own, the kind of cultural perspective that we take.
These different cultural perspectives actually have their own terms. One term that I want, if we're going to judge another person's culture from our own culture, and really say things like, this is disgusting, this is right or this is wrong, whether it's to do with food, religion, politics, or any customs or rituals, or anything else, what we're doing is we're becoming very ethnocentric.
What being ethnocentric means is that we are really judging our own culture to be superior to that of others. On the opposite side, as we start to look at cultural events, whether it's the food or any other cultural event, or cultural phenomenon, from a perspective of the other person's culture, we start to move into the concept of cultural relativism.
What cultural relativism means, is that there's no right, absolute right or wrong, but we have different cultures who are themselves valid.
Cultural relativism can somewhat falter if someone uses it to conduct activities that really violate the rights and dignity of our fellow human beings, no matter what culture they are in or from. That's something important for us to also consider. Now, based on our insect dish, I want to talk to you a little bit about groups. What I want to do is talk to you about groups by mentioning I want to talk to you about groups and how groups are formed.
So, let us take this first group over here. This group will think that insects are pests and they're not to be eaten. Let's draw a few different people that could be part of this group. The second group really thinks of insects as dinner. Let's draw a few of them over here. The reason why groups form is that people within groups share some kind of psychological connection with their peers, so that could be related to their love of insect dishes or it could be related to politics, it could be related to spirituality, any other cultural issues.
It could relate to anything at all, in fact. For example, Christmas trees can be considered ceremonial or cultural objects. They are representative in both Western religious and commercial holiday culture. In addition, culture can also demonstrate the way a group thinks, their practices, or behavioral patterns, or their views of the world. For example, in some countries like China, it is acceptable to stare at others in public, or to stand very close to others in public spaces.
In South Africa, if you board a nearly empty bus or enter a nearly empty movie theater, it is regarded as polite to sit next to the only person there.
Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism in group and out group (video) | Khan Academy
On the other hand, in a recent study of Greyhound bus trips in the US, a researcher found that the greatest unspoken rule of bus-taking is that if other seats are available, one should never sit next to another person. These are all examples of cultural norms that people in one society may be used to. Norms that you are used to are neither right nor wrong, just different. Picture walking into a nearly empty movie theater when visiting another country, and not sitting next to the only person in the theater.
Another person walks up and tells you off for being rude. You, not used to these norms, feel confused, and anxious.
Cultural relativism: definition & examples (article) | Khan Academy
This disorientation you feel is an example of culture shock. Cartoon showing two people in an empty movie theater. One person is saying "you're a jerk" to the person who sat far away from him. What is cultural relativism? Have you ever seen or eaten food from another country, such as dried squid or fried crickets and think of it as weird and gross? This is an example of ethnocentrism! That means you use your own culture as the center and evaluate other cultures based on it.
You are judging, or making assumptions about the food of other countries based on your own norms, values, or beliefs. Cartoon showing a person offering another man some deep fried crickets. The man who is being offered the crickets says "um, I think I'll pass. On the one hand, ethnocentrism can lead to negative judgments of the behaviors of groups or societies. It can also lead to discrimination against people who are different.
For example, in many countries, religious minorities religions that are not the dominant religion often face discrimination. But on the other hand, ethnocentrism can create loyalty among the same social group or people in the same society. For example, during the World Cup or Olympics, you may tend to root for your own country and believe that the players or teams representing your country are much better. National pride is also part of ethnocentrism.
To avoid judging the cultural practices of groups that are different to yours, we can use the cultural relativism approach. Cultural relativism refers to not judging a culture to our own standards of what is right or wrong, strange or normal. Instead, we should try to understand cultural practices of other groups in its own cultural context.
Similarities and Difference Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism
You may learn that fried crickets or grasshoppers are full of protein and in Mexico, it is famous Oaxaca regional cuisine and have been eaten for thousands of years as a healthy food source! The man who is being offered the crickets asks to know more about them. Some people worry that the concept of culture can also be abused and misinterpreted. If one culture behaves one way, does that mean all cultures can behave that way as well? For example, many countries and international organizations oppose the act of whaling the fishing of whales for environmental reasons.
These environmental organizations say that there are not many whales left and such fishing practices should be stopped. However, other countries argue that whaling is a cultural practice that has been around for thousands of years.
Who gets to define what a moral cultural behavior is? Two different cultures may have very different answers, as we saw in the above example.
Another more extreme instance would be female genital cutting in some parts of the world. Locally, it is argued that the practice has cultural roots, but such a practice has raised concerns among many international human rights organizations.
Anthropologists say that when we think about different cultures and societies, we should think about their customs in a way that helps us make sense of how their cultural practices fits with their overall cultural context.
For example, having several wives perhaps makes economic sense among herders who move around frequently.