I am a Christian and do see things from that perspective; however, I don't think that means it necessarily applies to this question. It depends on what you define as ethnocentricism.
Descriptive cultural relativism is basically undeniable: Cultures do, in fact, differ in their social and moral norms. But normative culture relativism is not as obviously true: It isn't clear how, if at all, our treatment of people in different cultures should vary based on their culture's norms.
So the normative sense of cultural relativism So the normative sense of cultural relativism that says we ought to judge other people by the standards of their own culture could be right, but isn't necessarily.
There is also methodological cultural relativism, which is a method that many sociologists and anthropologists use to sort of temporarily suspend judgment about other cultures until they get all the facts in. This is probably a good thing, but it's a very weak sense of relativism; in the end they still go home and publish in Western academic journals according to Western cultural norms.
It doesn't even require any particular relativism: You can just have the norm in your own culture that you don't judge other cultures until all the facts are in. It normally means something quite negativethe tendency to view people of your own culture as inherently superior and people of other cultures as inherently inferior.
It frequently results in hatred and even violence. But sociologists also use "ethnocentrism" in a sort of technical sense, to mean simply that we judge people of other cultures by the standards of our own culture.
This latter is not obviously wrongone culture's ideas can in fact be more correct than another's, and it may turn out that we happen to live in the culture that has the best ideas.
I think a key point to keep in mind here is that it matters why you are using the moral standards you are. Is it simply because you grew up with them, and never questioned them? That is probably ethnocentrism.
But have you actually analyzed those norms, challenged them, confronted them with evidence, and yet they still held up? Then what you are doing is definitely not the negative kind of ethnocentrism, though it may be "ethnocentrism" in this broader more technical sense.
Indeed, it's not clear that the strongest form of normative cultural relativism is even coherent. Most cultures are not cultural relativists; that is, most people in most cultures do not think that one should judge others only by the standards of the others' own culture.
They think that their standards are the objectively correct ones that everyone should use. So in order to be a cultural relativist, you need to judge people only by their own culture, but the only culture that actually tells you to do that is your own culture, namely the subculture of Western academic sociologists.
So you are in the end still judging based on your own culture, and you are still faced with the question of why your culture's norms are better than anyone else's. Or in fact you could justify being an imperialist, because Western culture has a historical tradition of imperialism and you could simply be acting according to the norms of your own cultureso how can anyone judge you as wrong?
Yet I understand where normative cultural relativism comes from; it is an attempt to respond to, and in some sense atone for, the extreme violence and destruction created by colonialism and imperialism.Moral relativism and its cousin cultural relativism (the notion that moral criticism of another culture is neither possible nor permissible) are widely taken to be true in America.
There is one enormous exception to the prohibition on cultural criticism. Cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are the two flip sides of one coin where both of these rather philosophical notions are intertwined. Ethnocentrism landed as a concept amongst different nations earlier than cultural relativism which got to be devised to counter ethnocentrism.
Sep 29, · Cultural relativism is the view that cultural differences are limited to things like the way people dress differently and how "exotic" the food they eat is (regardless of whether they actually eat the food; what really matters is whether restaurants that serve it say they do).
Ethnocentrism can lead to cultural misinterpretation and it often distorts communication between human beings. Ethnocentric thinking causes us to make wrong assumptions about other people because Ethnocentrism leads us to make premature judgments.
Cultural relativism would be the attempt of an anthropologist to look at a culture, understand it as much as possible and then only make judgments in accordance to the values, norms and morals of that particular culture/5(20). Jan 25, · Cultural relativism is important in providing objective insight into other cultures.
Cultural awareness and acceptance are important steps toward a better and peaceful world. Ethnocentrism.