Understanding the concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism

Cultural relativism, unlike ethnocentrism, does not consider one culture to be superior to another.

What are the similarities and differences between cultural relativism and ethnocentrism?

In short, cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are similar in their use in the humanities, reliance on an Us vs Them mentality, and the fact that they are quite limiting frameworks. There is little doubt that most social scientists are biased in favor of peaceful social change and are opposed to conflict.

Cultural relativism grants that cushion where no culture gets to be termed as superior or inferior one. Cultural relativism is the positive attitude or concept while ethnocentrism is the negative side.

If the former is the brighter end, the latter is considered to be its dark side. This notion falls in deep and sharp contrast to cultural relativism which focuses on the better and unbiased understanding of other cultures and the related values.

In Asian countries, where all meals are eaten with chopsticks, citizens may view the use of forks, spoons, knives and other utensils as barbaric and inappropriate. And, all such cultural values differ from one ethnic group or nationality to the other.

An Us vs Them mentality is not likely to foster understanding or positive discourse. The world ethno comes from Greek and refers to a people, nation, or cultural grouping, while centric comes from Latin and refers, of course to the centre.

First, ethnocentrism encourages the solidarity of the group. If you like this article or our site. What is Cultural Relativism? Once one becomes conscious of ethnocentrism, the temptation is strong to evaluate it in moral terms; to label it with epithets such as bigoted chauvinistic, and so on, and to imply that one who has not discovered and compensated for his or her ethnocentric biases is not worthy.

Ethnocentrism is sometimes called cultural ignorance. But in private, they may reassure their off springs that their possessions are indeed very nice. In fact, attitudes of suspicion, disdain and hostility are likely to be engendered.

The first, "ethno," implies ethnicity or nationality. Ethnocentrism is the belief that your culture is right or the best.

The revolutionary efforts of groups who see themselves as downtrodden blacks, the poor, women, and young people have included deliberate efforts to foster ethnocentrism as a means of strengthening themselves. Positively, ethnocentrism promotes continuance of the status quo negatively, it discourages change.

The term ethnocentrism then refers to the tendency for each society to place its own culture patterns at the centre of things. Many Westerners are grossed out by the idea of eating insects, snakes, or animals like squirrels or turtles.

Cultures can be viewed as superior in many ways, including a style of dress, economic activities, language and even etiquette such as using utensils versus hands at the dinner table to eat meals. Women, for example, are considered more beautiful in some parts of the world if they are slender, while in other societies women with broader and fleshier figures are considered to be more attractive.

Cultural relativism seems to be the other side of ethnocentrism. It makes our culture into a yardstick with which to measure all other cultures as good or bad, high or low, right or queer in proportion as they resemble ours.

An example of cultural relativism is the perception of aesthetics among different societies. Please spread the word. Cultural relativism purports that all societies are equal, but that they have different viewpoints on certain customs, traditions and beliefs.

Cultural relativism is showing a sense of understanding for different cultures and treating the uniqueness of these cultures with utmost respect. The Holocaust is a clear example of one race being ethnocentric to others.

Difference Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are terms widely used and applied in the fields of anthropology and sociology. Extreme ethnocentrism is likely to promote conflict, as the records of past wars, and religious and racial conflicts reveal.

All the nations come up with their specific sects of cultural and ethnic values and norms. The important point, however, is that ethnocentrism is one of the features of culture andlike the rest of cultureit needs to be evaluated in terms of its contribution to the maintenance of social order and the promotion of social change.

Just because a person is doing an activity that is not acceptable in your culture does not give you the right to regard it as abnormal. That is, cultural practices must be understood and respected as part of their culture, even if someone disagrees with the practice.

The disparity between these cultures created certain links that brought each closer to one another. Among adults, ethnocentrism is simply a fact of life. There is no "right" or "wrong" in this case, cultural relativism believes, just differences. What some societies view as acceptable or commendable may not be the case in another.Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are two contrasting terms that are displayed by different people all over the world.

Simply put, ethnocentrism is defined as “judging other groups from the perspective of one’s own cultural point of view.”.

What Are Examples of Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism?

Using the concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism, discuss the impact that a bilingual education might have on understanding other cultures The impact that a bilingual education might have on understanding other cultures is that the person having a bilingual capability shall have a better realization of the world spoken foreign tongue.

Ethnocentrism. Closely related to the concept of cultural relativity is the concept of ethnocentrism. The world ethno comes from Greek and refers to a people, nation, or cultural grouping, while centric comes from Latin and refers, of course to the centre.

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. Cultural relativism, in contrast, is the realization that there are differences among cultures with respect to certain shared commonalities, such as written language and body language.

Cultural relativism, unlike ethnocentrism, does not consider one culture to be superior to another. Cultural relativism and ethnocentrism and the continuum that defines the two are useful concepts in helping humans understand human behavior more fully.

This understanding of human behavior based on the cultural relativism and ethnocentrism continuum helps humans to communicate more effectively.

Understanding the concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism
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