Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism are opposing but still complimentary forces in today’s universe. They are the cause of many wars and yet the captivation of travel. trade and commercialism. The subjects can be defined as: eth”?no”?cen”?trism ( ethn sentriz m ) . N.
1. the belief in the built-in high quality of one’s ain cultural group or civilization.
2. a inclination to see foreign groups or civilizations from the position of one’s ain.
Cultural Relativism does non look to hold a definition listed in a dictionary nevertheless it is the pattern of accepting the civilizations of different people throughout the universe non needfully separated by geographics.
Probably the most recent and blazing illustration of ethnocentrism was Milosevic’s effort at cultural cleaning of Kosovo. However this is by no means the worst instance. Unfortunately ethnocentrism is the cause of many wars. Ironically the US was labeled as the Cultural Relativism that countered Milosevic’s ethnocentrism. The US is non wholly guiltless of the ethnocentrism in position of the Indian wars or the US civil war. The US has been guilty of both reculturization of the native Americans in seeking to coerce them to larn and populate the white European ways and race murder in the wars and isolation. It appears that Milosevic was merely concerned with race murder as Hitler was. In Asia it appears that China and North Korea are practising ethnocentrism but non in an open manner as in Serbia. Rather China and North Korea pattern it in non opening up to outside states. In this manner they are stating that they evidently don’t want their civilizations infected by any others.
Although these utmost and open illustrations may look to be negative to some people. they are illustrations of the desire responsible for the alone qualities of the assorted civilizations. It is the alone qualities of the assorted civilizations that excite us as people to desire to go and see the differences in other life manners. The alone civilizations produce a diverseness of life manners that finally enhance worlds to accommodate to assorted environments. Merely by esteeming and appreciating each others civilizations will we be able to continue them for subsequent coevalss to bask and larn from.
This brings us to Cultural Relativism. The pattern of accepting the assorted civilizations of the universe for what they are and appreciating what they have to offer. The United States is likely the best illustration of this. Although the US has had it’s periods of ethnocentrism. it is now diverse in its civilizations. There are groups of people in the US who live largely the manner of some “motherland” . Not merely are at that place groups that are identified with Asia. Europe. and Africa merely to advert a few. but there are assorted versions of each of them. For case Asia can be divided into East and West. so from the East. China. Korea. and Japan. The list could cover several pages. The point is that these groups of people enjoy cultural life styles that have dominated their heritage for coevalss. The comparative benefit of this is a diverse state that accepts and appreciates many life manners.
There is a inquiry as to where to pull the line between continuing and changing civilizations. Some civilizations have patterns that are considered to be human rights misdemeanors by others. Such things as female Circumcision and honor violent deaths. Again these are utmost illustrations but the point is that some human rights militants would hold these patterns outlawed worldwide while some anthropologists choose to continue the civilizations as they are. When outside beginnings force alteration on a civilization pattern. where does it halt? In decision it is a degree of ethnocentrism that keeps the universe we live in diverse and interesting to those us who like to go and research. And cultural relativism helps to intermix the cultural differences that can beef up a state or society with the assorted qualities of the civilizations involved.