[quote=""DrZoidberg""]You also need to leave behind any method of making judgements. "It's ok that our black neighbour beats his wife. Who are we to judge?" [/quote] Cultural relativism doesn't require to side with the powerful in any particular cultural conflict; the woman, in this case, also has a voice. It is true that we avoid judgements when doing research (and cultural relativism is and always was a research instrument), but that doesn't mean one can't otherwise hold negative personal moral opinions about things. That would create a nest of contradictions, given how frequently cultures are at odds with themselves on various issues. Relativism merely states that one's perspective is relative to one's cultural orientation, which is true. And it implies that understanding cultural phenomena therefore requires viewing things primarily within context as opposed to applying a foreign context for evaluation. Any moral lessons you draw from the process are up to you.
You can also take all the cookies from brown people because they're don't value those sorts of things anyway. They're all into mystical chanting and charms and trinkets.
What the everliving fuck? Who even says that? That's not cultural relativism, that's ethnocentrism taken to an extreme. Viewing someone as some essentialized caricature that you made up
is not viewing their situation from their own perspective.
Universalizing your own beliefs, and imagining that everyone believes and and perceives "basically the same" as you, is not as fair as it seems, because it advances your beliefs as a "standard" in areas where, in fact, no standard exists. The Hopi language to a relativist, for instance, is equally adequate at describing time, just from a different perspective and with different assumptions. There's no particular reason to say that one of those perspectives is right
particularly. To a universalist, it is oddly deficient in its ability to distinguish clearly between present and past, and thus at describing "reality".[/quote]
What? Are you disagreeing or agreeing? All time language is relativist. "How far before or after now?" That's the only questions.
Uh, not in Hopi. As you'd know if you actually read Malotki's paper. "How far" is a spatial metaphor that makes no sense if you seldom use nouns to refer to times.
I'd argue that absolute time language is a result of inventing mechanical clocks and date keepers. They are modern.
So you're arguing that noone used linear models of time before clocks? I guess you can believe that, if you want to be embarrassingly wrong about something.
Which brings me to the core of my point. The two philosophers Fichte and Herder invented the modern concept of nationalism. They argued that cultures were intrinsically different. But please study them. Because all their arguments are ridiculous. It's national soul and collective unconscious nonsense. The kind of stuff Jung later picked up and ran with. Cultural relativism comes form this camp.
No, it really didn't. Cultural relativism was the brainchild of quite a few early ethnographers, maybe most influentially Franz Boas, who by no means approved of the German Idealists; he had fled Germany to get away from the bastards. The only real comparison you can make is that they both agreed that cultures differed from one another. They did not agree in the issue of judgement, or elevating any cultures above all others. That contradicts the basic premise of relativism, that all cultures provide equally satisfying answers to the problems of life, relative to their differing situations.
But one of their contemporaries, Hegel, had another idea. Perhaps cultures aren't the result of some inherent essentialist quality. Perhaps they are the result of discussions and debates taking place in those cultures. But he fails to explain why certain discussions take place in some cultures and not others.
Why are you conflating essentialism with cultural relativity? It requires nothing of the sort, if essentialism is a poor description of how cultures work, and I think just about any practicing social scientist would agree that it is a very flawed one. Believe it or not, we have moved on since the start of the last century. We are meant to understand the actual
context of cultural differences, not imaginary contexts of cultural differences.
An example would be religion. In an economy where social dynamism is preferable, and we have well developed social welfare, religion will be liberal. In an economy where resources are meager and people need to cooperate, and not rock the boat, and welfare is weak, religion will be conservative. So if we take a conservative Muslim and plonk them into a modern economy, they will start to liberalise, and so will their children's religion. Which is exactly what we're seeing happen.
Because their cultural context has changed. You're the only one trying to conflate culture with immobility here. You're also, uh, wrong about the particulars. Or conservative Christianity and Islam would not be as popular as they are at the pinnacle of the Western and Islamic markets, respectively.