Cultural Anthropology gives three distinct meanings of cultural relativism

Cultural Anthropology gives three distinct meanings of cultural relativism

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Discuss what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three kinds of relativism Moral Stance Moral stance is being able to set aside one’s own beliefs in order to better understand the behaviors, attitudes, actions or any other aspects of the subject society. Judgment must not be cast based upon the anthropologists own morals and values as this A strength of arresting one’s own social and cultural morals is the insight they gain by not being in conflict within themselves, therefore unhindered by self-distraction. The anthropologist can obtain their information untainted and unbiased, gathering invaluable information on the uniqueness of the subject culture without the worry or fear of causing insult. If one cannot impose a moral stance, they run the risk of obtaining corrupt data based on their own internal conflict while possibly imposing their own social, religious and cultural morals on the worlds many and various societies. Methodological Strategy Methodological strategy is the learning of another society’s culture via books and journals before beginning their field study. With the methodological strategy, I see a strength in having prior knowledge of not just some of the customs and rituals but also the beliefs of those the anthropologist is preparing to study in the field. In beginning this way, one can see where studies have focused on in the past and what is still needed to be learned. Then one can determine the best course of action and make preparations. One can also note changes that have occurred and how the culture has changed and why. The downside to methodological strategy is they are learning from books; while helpful there is a difference between book learning and applying what is learned. Depending on the period of when the material was written and when the anthropologist is planning their expedition many things could have changed and they may still be ill prepared. The authors of these book and journals may also have placed their interpretations of their observations due to the fact they may have not had anything to compare it to for understanding. I could see this as being misleading. Epistemological Position
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Epistemological position is the viewing of each culture as independent and incomparable to others based on the experiences of that particular society. The strength in the epistemological position would be the ability to interact with a society with no preconceived notions of other cultures or civilization around them. This grants the anthropologist a clean slate to learn of their beliefs, morals, values and culture through their histories and interactions. This seems best done when isolation has been a factor. If the epistemological position is used in a more modern society with interaction
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This note was uploaded on 09/06/2012 for the course ANT 101 taught by Professor Wright during the Spring '11 term at Ashford University.

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Cultural Anthropology gives three distinct meanings of cultural relativism

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