Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism

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Principles of sociology 2000 | You Are What You Eat? | Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism | | Jessica Miller | 11/10/2012 | Applying the concept of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism to my perception about eating toasted ants, fried frog legs, dogs, cats, and raw monkey brains. | When it comes to the preference of food we are all ethnocentric, but at the same time we can practice cultural relativism and try to appreciate a cultures way of life. In my opinion, when it comes to eating frog legs, just the thought sounds disgusting but the majority of U.S. society finds it to be normal. I do not believe in eating dogs or cats; eating ants sounds yuck, and I cannot begin to even try to think about eating raw monkey brains. The issue of cultural diversity and diet is that everyone has different perspectives on life based on how they were brought up. No one’s ways of looking on life is neither right nor wrong, but it is easier to understand your own cultural beliefs more than it is to understand a culture you do not follow by. All races and cultures have their own beliefs. Applying functionalism to cultures would be demonstrated in the fact that some cultures have a purpose and a meaning to how they live. For example, some southern cultures find it acceptable to consume whole animal’s, verses wasting the food they have. They would find it unacceptable to discard parts of an animal when their culture or community is in need of food. What we would consider disgusting is a delicacy in their society. The same can be said when we look at history and focus on recessions and depressions and how those cultural times have prohibited people from waste nothing. Therefore, one’s needs supersede ones desires thus creating a change in one’s societal perspective. Hence, one learns to adapt and to function within the boundaries of one’s society and

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