anthropology discussion 16

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part 1: what values does anthropology have?

part 2 : cultural relativity good and bad ?

example for part 2:

The framework of cultural relativity allows us to view and analyze things from someone else’s perspective. This prevents us from applying our own ideals, beliefs, and ultimately the assumption that our preconceptions are superior to all others (ethnocentrism) and holding everyone else to them. This approach is crucial to fully understand other cultures and simply people different from us (“the other”). As Bronislaw Malinowski found out with his research, grasping someone else’s point of view is crucial to their full understanding. It prevents us from discrimination of all sorts and helps resolve social problems.

However, cultural relativity can be dangerous, if taken to an extreme. Some cultures still accept practices like promoting symbols of hate (like the swastika) slavery, executions, cannibalism, and others widely regarded as unethical. Also, as found in Malinowski’s research, this “blending” in with an another culture lead him to bias based on his higher education (feeling of being superior), as well as racism. It is important to realize that no method of conducting research is perfect.

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