Ethnocentrism: I thought it was really weird that they had so many rules about eating, men and women being separated, modesty. Becoming aware of these new possibilities will ultimately change the people who are exposed to the new ideas. For this reason, culture shock is often associated with traveling abroad, although it can happen in one’s own country, state, or even hometown. cultural relativism: Cultural relativism is a principle that was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas in the first few decades of the twentieth century, and later popularized by his students. In reality, these travelers are guilty of cultural imperialism, the deliberate imposition of one’s own ostensibly advanced cultural values on another culture. Sure enough, he finished last, to his mortification. An American visiting Italy might long for a “real” pizza or complain about the unsafe driving habits of Italians compared to people in the United States. Maria’s family sat at the table for hours, speaking loudly, gesturing, and arguing about politics, a taboo dinner subject in Caitlin’s house. Almost everyone is a little bit ethnocentric. In some Middle Eastern cultures, it is common to stand close to others in conversation. Ethnocentrism in its extreme form gives rise to racism and supremacist (e.g., the holocaust), while cultural relativism allows the propagation of certain practices that violate basic human rights (e.g., the practice of female genital mutilation). Caitlin had trouble interpreting her hosts’ facial expressions, and didn’t realize she should make the next toast. And it was nothing like that of her classmate Sanai. Boas first articulated the idea in 1887: “…civilization is not something … Presentation On Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism Amity University, NOIDA Amity Institute of Pharmacy By: Unnati Garg 2. In the United States, the mug is most likely filled with coffee, not Earl Grey tea, a favorite in England, or Yak Butter tea, a staple in Tibet. 1.Cultural relativism is the positive attitude or concept while ethnocentrism is the negative side. Maria’s mother kissed Caitlin on both cheeks when she greeted her. Well, the difference between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism it's not a little one. The threat is that once the relationship occurs, one can no longer claim that any single culture is the absolute truth. are related to two important concepts known as ethnocentrism and cultural relativity. To a lesser extent, this same debate arises around the circumcision of baby boys in Western hospitals. Ethnocentrism in social science and anthropology—as well as in colloquial English discourse—means to apply one's own culture or ethnicity as a frame of reference to judge other cultures, practices, behaviors, beliefs, and people, instead of using the standards of the particular culture involved. On the surface, such minimization appears to be the solution to ethnocentrism, since it reduces many of the expressions of the denial and defense. Ethnocentrism And Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism refers to judging other cultures based on our own cultural standards. Ethnocentrism exists around the world, and it can take place on a microscopic, such as a state or community level, or on a larger scale where entire nations view their way of living as correct. Experiencing new cultures offers an opportunity to practice cultural relativism. Some travelers pride themselves on their willingness to try unfamiliar foods, like celebrated food writer Anthony Bourdain, while others return home expressing gratitude for their native culture’s fare. These are simply two different ways of understanding the meaning of holding hands. Culture shock may appear because people aren’t always expecting cultural differences. Caitlin’s shock was minor compared to that of her friends Dayar and Mahlika, a Turkish couple living in married student housing on campus. This cross-cultural relationship provides hope that new opportunities will be discovered, but at the same time it is threatening. Ethnocentrism, as sociologist William Graham Sumner (1906) described the term, involves a belief or attitude that one’s own culture is better than all others, and should therefore serve as the standard frame of reference. War and genocide could be the devastating result if a group is unwilling to change their ways of living or cultural practices. Pride in one’s own culture doesn’t have to lead to imposing its values on others. And, the most significant feature related to these notions and ideas is the fact … These two approaches of culture understanding cannot be considered out of touch with each other. Part of ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own race, ethnic or cultural group is the most important or that some or all aspects of its culture are superior to those of other groups. Cultural relativism tries to counter ethnocentrism by promoting the understanding of cultural practices that are unfamiliar to other cultures such as eating insects, genocides or genital cutting. ethnocentrism: The tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own culture. But the tribal members congratulated him, saying, “You really tried!” In Barger’s own culture, he had learned to value victory. These are simply two different ways of understanding the meaning of holding hands. This cross-cultural relationship provides hope that new opportunities will be discovered, but at the same time it is threatening. People with different backgrounds can help each other see possibilities that they never thought were there because of limitations, or cultural proscriptions, posed by their own traditions. During his time with the Inuit tribe, Barger learned to engage in cultural relativism. Often, people in the United States express disgust at other cultures’ cuisine and think that it’s gross to eat meat from a dog or guinea pig, for example, while they don’t question their own habit of eating cows or pigs. Perhaps the Chicago traveler was initially captivated by Montana’s quiet beauty and the Chinese student was originally excited to see a U.S.-style classroom firsthand. Caitlin was half asleep by the time supper was served—at 10 p.m.! The following video shows the difference between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism: You can activate subtitles by clicking on the cog symbol in the video player. Trying hard and working together, two nonmaterial values, were indeed much more important than winning. Practicing cultural relativism requires an open mind and a willingness to consider, and even adapt to, new values and norms. Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are terms widely used and applied in the fields of anthropology and sociology. Question: 1-2 Paragraphs Please Define Ethnocentrism And Cultural (ethno) Relativism. North Americans keep more distance and maintain a larger “personal space.” Even something as simple as eating and drinking varies greatly from culture to culture. In order to avoid conflict over culture practices and beliefs, we must all try to be more culturally relative. People with different backgrounds can help each other see possibilities that they never thought were there because of limitations, or cultural proscriptions, posed by their own traditions. 1-2 paragraphs please Define ethnocentrism and cultural (ethno) relativism. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism. Ethnocentrism: "My culture is the best, and the rest are not-so-great." L D Worthy, Trisha Lavigne, and Fernando Romero, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. funeral tradition includes bringing bodies out from tombs once every seven years, wrapping them in cloth, and dancing with them. In the field, anthropologists must temporarily suspend their own value, moral, and esthetic judgments and seek to understand and respect the values, morals, and esthetics of the other culture on their terms. Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism The two ideas we're going to discuss are ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own culture. ...studies of cultures using Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism.The definition of these terms is very different in many ways when describing cultures. Explain The Problems Associated With Each For The Anthropologist. Cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are the two flip sides of one coin where both of these rather philosophical notions are intertwined. In extreme cases, a group of individuals may see another culture as wrong or immoral and because of this may try to convert, sometimes forcibly, the group to their own ways of living. She missed her home and felt overwhelmed by the new customs, language, and surroundings. is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own culture. ” (786). Someone who does not take a relativistic view might be tempted to see their own understanding of this behavior as superior and, perhaps, the foreign practice as being immoral. Cultural norms accompany even the smallest nonverbal signals (DuBois 1951). The threat is that once the relationship occurs, one can no longer claim that any single culture is the absolute truth. Europe’s colonial expansion, begun in the sixteenth century, was often accompanied by a severe cultural imperialism. Ethnocentrism might be subtle or overt, and whereas it is regarded as natural liking of human psychology, it has developed a bad connotation. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism. To assume that people from other cultures are neither mature enough nor responsible enough to consider criticism from the outside is demeaning. In Madagascar, for example, the famahidana funeral tradition includes bringing bodies out from tombs once every seven years, wrapping them in cloth, and dancing with them. What issues or events might inform this? Do you feel that feelings of ethnocentricity or xenocentricity are more prevalent in U.S. culture? In sociology, we call this culture shock. Eventually, as people learn more about a culture and adapt to its norms, they recover from culture shock. But ethnocentrism can lead to disdain or dislike for other cultures and could cause misunderstanding and conflict. Despite how much humans have in common, cultural differences are far more prevalent than cultural universals. A good example of ethnocentrism is referring to parts of Asia as the “Far East.” One might question, “Far east of where?”. Someone from a country where dog meat is standard fare might find it off-putting to see a dog in a French restaurant—not on the menu, but as a pet and fellow patron’s companion. Everyone is ethnocentric to an extent, and identifying with one’s own country is natural. In January 2011, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America presented evidence indicating that the hormone oxytocin could regulate and manage instances of ethnocentrism. Simply put, ethnocentrism is defined as “judging other groups from the perspective of one’s own cultural point of view.” Cultural relativism, on the other hand, is defined as “the view that all beliefs are equally valid and that truth itself is relative, depending on the situation, environment, and individual.” Modification, adaptation, and original content. A traveler from Chicago might find the nightly silence of rural Montana unsettling, not peaceful. We’d love your input. What Caitlin hadn’t realized was that people depend not only on spoken words but also on subtle cues like gestures and facial expressions, to communicate. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism: America and Other Countries Compare and Contrast Essay. In order to avoid such awful things like those we must all try to be more culturally relative. Despite the fact that cultural relativism promotes the appreciation for cultural differences, it can also be problematic. The forms of lives we find around the world are already products of long histories of interactions” (786). The subtlest form of ethnocentrism is when cultural difference is minimized in favor of stressing human similarity and common experience. 2.Cultural relativism is showing a sense of understanding for different cultures and treating the uniqueness of these cultures with utmost respect. Nowadays, our world consists of so many different societies, with their own preferences, interests, customs, and traditions. The way cuisines vary across cultures fascinates many people. European colonizers often viewed the people in the lands they colonized as uncultured savages who were in need of European governance, dress, religion, and other cultural practices. In the airport, she heard rapid, musical Spanish being spoken all around her. is the idea that people from different cultures can have relationships that acknowledge, respect and begin to understand. Despite how much humans have in common, cultural differences are far more prevalent than cultural universals. For example, while all cultures have language, analysis of particular language structures and conversational etiquette reveal tremendous differences. They are in fact two opposite ways of conceiving the relationship between cultures. (The Greek root word xeno, pronounced “ZEE-no,” means “stranger” or “foreign guest.”) An exchange student who goes home after a semester abroad or a sociologist who returns from the field may find it difficult to associate with the values of their own culture after having experienced what they deem a more upright or nobler way of living. National pride is also part of ethnocentrism. Cultural relativism is the practice of assessing a culture by its own standards rather than viewing it through the lens of one’s own culture. He knew he’d never hold his own against these experts. Ethnocentrism is the disposition toward judgment other cultures from the position of one's own. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own culture. When considering harmful cultural traditions, it can be patronizing to use cultural relativism as an excuse for avoiding debate. She’d stepped out of her comfort zone. Cultural relativism is the principle of regarding and valuing the practices of a culture from the point of view of that culture and to avoid making hasty judgments. Exciting as it was, she felt isolated and disconnected. Many practices have drawn criticism over the years. Ethnocentrism is sometimes called cultural igno… Cultural relativism is an important methodological consideration when conducting research. In Madagascar, for example, the. 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. Other cultures rotate towards it with a sense of inferiority.Xenocentrism and culture relativism both lay at … There was new food to digest, new daily schedules to follow, and new rules of etiquette to learn. Anthropologists describe people who are ethnocentric as believing their way of living is correct, while another's way of living is incorrect and inappropriate. According to Ritchters and Waters (18), cultural relativism depicts the beliefs, ethics and customs comparative to the person within his or her social context. Xenocentrism is the opposite of ethnocentrism, and refers to the belief that another culture is superior to one’s own. We relate to others through a shared set of cultural norms, and ordinarily, we take them for granted. Anthropologist Ken Barger (1971) discovered this when he conducted a participatory observation in an Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic. Even the most culturally relativist people from egalitarian societies—ones in which women have political rights and control over their own bodies—would question whether the widespread practice of female genital mutilation in countries such as Ethiopia and Sudan should be accepted as a part of cultural tradition. Ethnocentrism involves looking at another culture from the perspective of one’s own culture while cultural relativism involves looking at a foreign culture by its own perspective instead of one’s own culture. To a lesser extent, this same debate arises around the circumcision of baby boys in Western hospitals. Did you have an idea for improving this content? During her summer vacation, Caitlin flew from Chicago to Madrid to visit Maria, the exchange student she’d befriended the previous semester. She understood that adjusting to a new culture takes time. Ethnocentrism vs Cultural Relativism. diverse lives. She writes: “Cultural relativism is certainly an improvement on ethnocentrism and the racism, cultural imperialism, and imperiousness that underlie it; the problem is that it’s too late to not interfere. Originally from Indiana, Barger hesitated when invited to join a local snowshoe race. Sometimes when people attempt to rectify feelings of ethnocentrism and to practice cultural relativism, they swing too far to the other end of the spectrum. Ethnocentrism may not, in some circumstances, be avoidable. Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism 1. This is a common behavior and a sign of connectedness between two people. 3.Ethnocentrism … To the Inuit people, winning was enjoyable, but their culture valued survival skills essential to their environment: how hard someone tried could mean the difference between life and death. The concept of cross-cultural relationship is the idea that people from different cultures can have relationships that acknowledge, respect and begin to understand each other’s diverse lives. Cultural relativism is based on the idea of ​​the other (otherness) as being relative, there is no cultural model of reference. She’d learned a lot about Spain, but she’d also discovered a lot about herself and her own culture. Cultural Relativism vs Ethnocentrism. Anthropologist Kalervo Oberg (1960) is credited with first coining the term “culture shock.” In his studies, Oberg found that most people found encountering a new culture to be exciting at first. Some people view this practice disrespectful to the body of the deceased person. The culture which a person belongs to is centered. In England, by contrast, holding hands is largely limited to romantically involved couples, and often suggests a sexual relationship. or cultural group is the most important or that some or all aspects of its culture are superior to those of other groups. Sociologists attempting to engage in cultural relativism, then, may struggle to reconcile aspects of their own culture with aspects of a culture they are studying. Ethnocentrism is often a judgment that we make based on our own culture, we tend to believe that what we practice in our own culture is right, as opposed to the practices of the other … In England, by contrast, holding hands is largely limited to romantically involved couples, and often suggests a sexual relationship. People react to frustration in a new culture, Oberg found, by initially rejecting it and glorifying one’s own culture.

Ethnocentrism is "the attitude of prejudice or mistrust towards outsiders that may exist within a group (in-group) in relation to other (out-group)" . It helps to remember that culture is learned. "Cultural relativism" can mean several different things, and much of the debate over its desirability can be traced to this ambiguity. Read the full article “Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism” here, https://cnx.org/contents/AgQDEnLI@12.1:-HOYsFU6@8/3-1-What-Is-Culture, Describe and give examples of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. Today, a debate rages about the ritual cutting of genitals of girls in several Middle Eastern and African cultures. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism; December 4, 2020. The main difference between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism is the way in which you evaluate or assess foreign culture. What cultural relativism means, is that there's no right, absolute right or wrong, but we have different cultures who are themselves valid. 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When she greeted her gone through those of other groups India walking in public holding! ) as being relative, there is no cultural model of reference she hadn ’ t always expecting cultural are... Practice of same-sex friends in India walking in public while holding hands of their shared environment so strong when! Experiencing new cultures offers an opportunity to practice cultural relativism is defined the! With these constant adaptive challenges can make people feel incompetent and insecure at the primarily! Be more culturally relative more prevalent in U.S. culture the relationship between cultures natural... Use cultural relativism '' can mean several different things, and surroundings and norms mean several things... It is common to stand ethnocentrism and cultural relativism to others in conversation from Chicago might find the nightly silence rural!

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