Ethnocentrism Essay

1015 words - 4 pages

Anthropology Study Writing Assignment TwoEthnocentrism is the "Belief that the way of one's own cultures are the only proper way" (Haviland et al. 4). In detail, it is often a set of attitude when people act prejudice or do not trust those who are outside of their own group. With ethnocentrism, people would become miss understanding of one another leading them to never to not be able to communicate with those different culture. Furthermore, it is also the belief that one's ethic or group is the center of all importance which could also lead to passing of judgments about the other "inferior" group of cultures. Some of these judgments could be related to ethnic's language, behavior, traditional custom, and what that ethnic believes in. with this in mind, it would also lead to division of smaller groups within a culture because of such distinction between the groups.Cultural Relativism believed that there is no single views to a culture perception of life that can be apply to every other culture (Haviland et al. 41). It is subjective to view that one's own culture would be the total definition of every other culture. Therefore, cultural relativism believes that there is no such right or wrong to whether a group has a way of living. With this in mind, there are not set universal standards that would allow people of different group to pass judgment upon another group's customs. Furthermore, cultural relativism supposes that any action is neither view as correct nor incorrect depended on the culture and as long as that specific culture believe so.The idea of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are simply opposite ideas in the same study of anthropologist. In order to understand the idea of studying culture we must understand the two terms by realizing that there is not one without the other, but both must play a role in defying cultures. In earlier time, the concepts of understanding other people culture were new. For this reason, many more developed cultures relied on the belief of ethnocentrism to explain about the differences between their own culture and other less developed cultures. As fields such anthropology improves, the process of studying about other culture become easier to do. Therefore, today's societies are able to adopt more cultural relativism to explain about the difference among the different cultures.With the improvement of anthropologist and its ability to look beyond the old ethnocentric ways, today's studies have incorporate understandings of more cultural relativism so that we can be more considerate of other culture. For this reason, anthropologist came up with study such as ethnography and ethnology which is important for anthropology to study about the past and how understand more about the culture of ethnic groups. Both of these fields emphasizes on the significantly useful for an anthropologist. According to the book ethnography is "a detailed description of a particular culture primarily based on fieldwork, which is the...

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