Saturday, January 14, 2017

The concept of cultural relativism

Cultural relativism is a component of a broader moral theory called moral relativism, which holds more generally that moral values are human inventions.

This broader theory includes both
*Individual relativism - namely, that each person creates his or her own moral standards
*Cultural relativism – namely, that social cultures create moral standards

The concept of cultural relativism requires that others objectively consider action, beliefs, values and norms within their own cultural contexts in order to understand them.

Robert Redfield enunciated the core tenets of cultural relativism nearly a half-century ago: Cultural relativism means that the values expressed in any culture are to be both understood and themselves valued only according to the way the people who carry that culture see things.

It demands a situated understanding of what people do and because of this it generally clarifies the ‘why’ through an appeal to cultural context.

There are six important variants on the theme of cultural relativism:
*Epistemological relativism
*Logical relativism
*Historical relativism
*Linguistic relativism
*Ethical relativism
*Developmental relativism
The concept of cultural relativism
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