Three Types of Cultural Relativism Strengths and Weaknesses Essay

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

1.  Moral stance
       a) Strengths- unbiased approach.
       b) Weakness- may conflict with personal belief systems, can change one's perspective on moral behaviors.

2.  Methodological strategy
      a) Strengths- greater understanding through emersion of oneself into a unique cultural experience.
      b) Weakness-  research is first done through books, journals, media, etc.  This is from others' point of view.  "the anthropologist must be on guard against imposing outside categories on the host culture in which she is working".  Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010)
  
3.  Epistemological position
     a) Strengths- able to look at the culture with a blank slate.  Removes barriers to normal thinking and beliefs.
     b)Weakness- Harder to find unique cultures that have not been influenced by globalization.  As H.S Stein states, "this view is untenable in a globalized world...adults have cell phones, motorbikes, and ready access to TV, popular culture, and even the Internet".  Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010)

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.
    In Haiti the predominant religion is Voodoo.  It is troubling to me that they sacrifice animals to appease their God.  Cultural relativism would be a useful approach in understanding the importance of such beliefs as to why they need to make these sacrifices.

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.
      Here in the US animal sacrifice is taboo and culturally frowned upon.  There are a multitude of activist groups that protect several species.  We have laws in place to prevent animal cruelty.  We...

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