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An example of this idea is in something such as equality in the workplace for both men and women.A person following the cultural relativist perspective would say that it is wrong to deny women that equality in the workplace in America today.
What is considered a typical breakfast in Turkey, as illustrated in the above image, is quite different from what is considered a typical breakfast in the U. Similarly, but perhaps of more consequence, rules that regulate nudity in public vary widely around the world. S., we tend to frame nudity in general as an inherently sexual thing, and so when people are nude in public, people may interpret this as a sexual signal.
But in many other places around the world, being nude or partially nude in public is a normal part of life, be it at swimming pools, beaches, in parks, or even throughout the course of daily life (see many indigenous cultures around the world).
Cultural relativism means the exact opposite of ethnocentrism.
It can be summed up as believing that “all religious, ethical, aesthetic, and political beliefs are completely relative to the individual within a cultural identity” (
The concept of cultural relativism as we know and use it today was established as an analytic tool by German-American anthropologist Franz Boas in the early 20th century.
In the context of early social science, cultural relativism became an important tool for pushing back on the ethnocentrism that often tarnished research at that time, which was mostly conducted by white, wealthy, Western men, and often focused on people of color, foreign indigenous populations, and persons of lower economic class than the researcher.It is a question that anthropologists have been asking themselves for years.From then on, however, anything involving Arabic culture was deemed that of “terrorists.” This process does work both ways, however.If the meal was not satisfactory the Bushmen would be angry and go to war with one another (Lee, 1-2).If Lee had exercised cultural relativism he would have put aside what he considered to be a healthy ox and his pride, and asked one of the locals to advise him of the beast they normally partook of.In contrast, when we recognize that the many cultures of the world have their own beliefs, values, and practices that have developed in particular historical, political, social, material, and ecological contexts and that it makes sense that they would differ from our own and that none are necessarily right or wrong or good or bad, then we are engaging the concept of cultural relativism.Cultural relativism explains why, for example, what constitutes breakfast varies widely from place to place. While it might seem strange to eat fish soup or stewed vegetables for breakfast in the U. Conversely, our tendency toward sugary cereals and milk or preference for egg sandwiches loaded with bacon and cheese would seem quite bizarre to other cultures.Cultural relativism refers to the idea that the values, knowledge, and behavior of people must be understood within their own cultural context.This is one of the most fundamental concepts in sociology, as it recognizes and affirms the connections between the greater social structure and trends and the everyday lives of individual people.In these cases, being nude or partially nude is not framed as sexual but as the appropriate bodily state for engaging in a given activity.In other cases, like many cultures where Islam is the predominant faith, a more thorough coverage of the body is expected than in other cultures.