Acceptance of Differing Cultural Practices

Application: Acceptance of Differing Cultural Practices

Cultural relativism is a perspective that helps to objectively understand differences in cultural practices. For example, human sacrifice may not be acceptable in Western cultures but is a religious ritual that has been performed for thousands of years in primitive cultures to avoid divine punishment. The danger of cultural relativism is that without accepted standards of “right” or “wrong” society must accept and tolerate any culture’s right to commit such practices as religious sacrifice, genocide, slavery, and cannibalism. On the other hand, the imposition of moral standards or practices—such as converting native cultures to “civilized” religion, language, and dress—demonstrates a lack of acceptance and tolerance for the values and practices of other cultures. When considering diverse cultural practices around the globe, think about what the criteria should be for acceptability.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review the article, “Cultural Relativism.”  Think about the concept of cultural relativism.
  • Consider how cultural relativism informs you understanding of different cultural practices around the world.
  • Search the Internet for examples of cultural practice that are different from your own.
  • Select one non-Western cultural practice from your research to complete this assignment.
  • Consider the rationale for acceptance of the selected cultural practices and whether these practices should be accepted or rejected.

The assignment: (2 pages):

  • Briefly describe the non-Western cultural practice you selected.
  • Justify an argument for why this cultural practice should or should not be universally accepted.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.

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