Essay On Ethnocentrism And Cultural Relativism

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Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are opposite viewpoints of one subject, culture. When a culture tries to evaluate another culture based on a singular viewpoint it is known as ethnocentrism. But cultures can be evaluated using individual standards since there is not one set of standards that culture fits into. I realize that most people agree with the concept of cultural relativism but there are some problems. According to an article by Henry H. Bagish entitled Confessions of a Former Cultural Relativist, states that cultural relativism can cause people to justify immoral and unjustifiable actions. The biggest example of this and probably overused is the Nazi annihilation of Jewish people. While I agree that cultural relativism promotes tolerance, there are some actions that cannot be tolerated and deserve more interference rather than neutrality. This is the argument Bagish was trying to show everyone who believes that tolerance is the…show more content…
There are many questions that I have about this topic mostly if ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are not solutions that work all the time what is the next best method? I don't know if anthropology or psychology works similar to other sciences but there has to be a solution that has not been explored yet. It is difficult to determine what the best methods are, but one thing is for sure there are a lot of cultures out there. Is it our job to determine which ones are successful or is this something that we should leave alone like the Prime Directive in Star Trek. Again this was an interesting point where they discuss whether they should get involved in wars and governmental oppression, but in the end they decided to act because of their emotions and their values. The decision process is hard because sometimes the emotional response is correct while other times the neutral response is

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