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Three Distinct Meanings of Cultural Relativism.

Cultural Anthropology gives three distinct meanings of cultural relativism: a moral stance that requires anthropologists to suspend moral and ethical judgments when interacting with a culture different from their own, a methodological strategy that allows the anthropologist to pay specific attention to the uniqueness of a culture, and an epistemological position that cultures are unique and therefore knowledge about different cultures is almost inherently not comparable. (Sec. 1.3).

In your forum contribution:

Discuss what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three kinds of relativism.
Identify one belief or practice in another culture that you find puzzling, strange, or troubling, and then discuss the extent that cultural relativism is a useful approach to understanding and interacting with the people who hold it.
Discuss the extent that cultural relativism would be a useful approach to understanding and interacting with people in your own society that did (or do) the same.
Explore the extent to which whether one is studying in one's own country or in another makes a difference in the applicability of cultural relativism to one's research.

Solution Preview

I have outlined an answer based on the questions presented. Cultural understanding is most often done at a distance and this leaves only what we can see within the picture or the words of another to base our opinions on. We do not get to see or feel the entire picture unless we interact, experience and learn to appreciate the other culture in some manner.

Discuss what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three kinds of relativism.

For moral stance, the ability to suspend ethical and moral judgments is a must when interacting with a different culture. Businesses often find these differences and have to suspend their morality to address issues when dealing with other governments and businesses. Not all the laws, rules, and perceptions are the same. Ways of dealing with conflict, family, and punishment can create morality issues, but one is not allowed to judge from their own perspective, especially if they are immersed. The bad news is the suspension of ethical and moral judgment can create personal crisis. Every decision has to be ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses three distinct meanings of cultural relativism.

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