Cultural & Moral Relativism: Understanding Diverse Lives & Moral Judgments - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1603 Words
Date:  2023-03-24


Cultural relativism is the idea that arises concerning people of different cultures, having individual relationships that acknowledge and help people all over the world to understand the diverse lives of others. Moral relativism, on the other hand, is the view that many people have on moral judgments and whether or not they are true or false based on certain instances such as cultures and historical periods. Moral relativism is essential in the display of moral judgments that fall in the category of being true or false, which are relative to particular standpoints, either cultural or historical. Poverty levels for families that are run by female heads daily are on the rise with a need to analyze this cultural aspect growing with time. This paper describes an issue of my personal culture using an outsider's perspective and an aspect of another culture using an insider's view to explain the feminization of paucity in the United States and what can be done to ensure that different cultures that experience judgment from others feel equal to other people and face a positive ethnocentric approach towards other cultures.

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Part I

In this section, I will analyze the feminization of paucity in the United States from an etic perspective. According to Murchison (2010), an etic aspect is an "outsider's perspective which people have concerning the parameters of a project." An etic aspect is data that is gathered by outsiders and yield different questions that they pose. In an article titled, Restructured Regions and Families: the Feminization of Poverty in the U.S., Jones and Kodras (1990) review poverty growth in household families that have female heads. Three alternative measures are used by the authors to display the way that poverty feminization in the United States is realized.

The first measure analyzes the concentration of families that are headed by females in several areas that have high populations struck by poverty. The second measure displays the ratio of low-income families that are run by female heads to all female-headed families. This measure shows how improvement has been realized in the percentages of families with female heads living below poverty levels in the years between 1970 and 1980 (Jones & Kodras, 1990). The third measure is the annual growth rate of low-income families that have female heads.

Jones and Kodras (1990) group the perspectives that help to define poverty in families led by females into three mainstreams that include the changes that are being realized in the United States welfare system, family breakdowns and different economic restructuring of women's work. The rise of families headed by females has mainly been attributed to traditional family unit breakdowns, changes in funding of states different assistance funds by the state, and significant wage differences between males and females. The family breakdowns are realized mostly in marital disruptions such as separations and divorces, as well as getting children out of wedlock.

Divorce is the most significant indicator that a family headed by the female left will go through a series of poverty in its entire life. Many fathers, after divorcing their wives they do not provide any financial support to their children, who force the mothers to toil hard to ensure that the children get adequate services to enable them to get their basic needs (Jones & Kodras, 1990). Research in the 1970s shows that nationally, families grew by 1.4% annually, with 6.4% of the families being those that are headed by females. By the 1980s, 18% of families in the United States were headed by females due to the increased rates of divorce in the country. The children who were born to single ladies also increased, with 5.4% of white children and 37.5% of black offspring being born to unmarried ladies (Vital Statistics 1975).

Jones and Kodras (1990) explain that women in the United States hold low-income jobs in the public service, which makes them earn low salaries. These jobs are mostly classified to be women jobs; hence they are underpaid and face difficulties sustaining their families. The assistance that is funded by the state has been a great way to ensure that female heads of families acquire a job that guarantees a minimum income above the poverty level in the United States. Cultural outsiders, especially those from the United Kingdom feel that family formation is not a cause of poverty in families led by females because compared to the United States, the United Kingdom has the most successful families that are led by female heads.

Part II

In this sector, I will analyze the anthropology of work review of white lapels that possess the characteristics of Chinese people while analyzing global capitalism and how social identity is formed. As Murchison (2010) explains," an emic perspective is a perspective that is adopted by an insider, and it comes from within any given culture in which a project is situated. An emic perspective focuses on the cultural distinctions that are intrinsic and have meaning to members of the society hence are referred to as the insider's perspectives. In his article, "White Collars with Chinese Characteristics: Global Capitalism and the Formation of a Social Identity" Duthrie (2005) creates an ethnography about race, ethnicity, and citizenship and, most importantly, the gender of social identity from different perspectives that include local, global and national perspectives.

Many changes have been realized in Chinese society due to several economic reforms and incorporations in the global capitalist system. Social class in China has a view that different individuals have the freedom to own property as long as they can legally acquire it (Duthrie, 2005). No income is realized from earning possessions, yet many people have more than one home, with the main revenue sources being from corporation salaries. The Asian economic crisis created a chance for women to be promoted into more prominent positions in multinational corporations. The significant positions include management, consultancy, directing, among others, as long as the females are advanced in the much-needed education in the region.

Duthrie (2005) drew inspiration in writing this article from the work, Europe and the People without History, which drew a need for understanding the social identities of Chinese white collars. Social class is a basic situation that relates to situations of property as well as commercials where lines for the class are strained at various restrictions where mobility is typical and easy to formulate. The middle class is a challenge in China because they are made up of employees who possess a unique relationship to capital ownership and the interests of different classes.

Mao Zedong made citizens live in different political classes, which affected families in the country a great deal. Some classes possessed control over resources and better working conditions, which made the slog unit to be the most important in status achievement. The style used by Mao followed a soviet style of development with industrial projects focusing on the countryside areas and neglecting the urban regions (Duthrie, 2005). This move created problems in urban areas such as unemployment and underdevelopment. Gender issues also arose from the social identities of China's white collars, with Chinese females doing well in Multinational Corporations.

The high statuses that many Chinese women hold in the corporations, in addition to the education they possess, make them have a feeling of independence and see no need to get married. Many of them also prefer to get married to foreign corporate management individuals because the Chinese men they work with are afraid of them due to the competition they pose to the Multinational Corporations. Their ability to quickly understand foreign language also makes it easy for them to communicate with foreign men and get married to them. On the other hand, Duthrie (2005) explains that foreign men also prefer not to marry Chinese women with top positions because they find it hard adapting to the behaviors of the females, such as travelling to foreign countries in groups.

Females marry up while the male partners in equal positions of employment marry females that are new to the workforce and deem to be less of a threat compared to the females that hold the top positions. Most Chinese women who are employed in top positions in the Multinational Corporations in China hence prefer to become the heads in their families (Duthrie, 2005). Unlike the unemployed females in the United States, the female heads in China have a large salary amount and can take care of their families.


As shown throughout this paper, I make a description of a feature of my own ethos using a foreigner's perspective as well as an element of another culture using an insider's opinion to explain the feminization of paucity in the United States and China. Little measures can be adopted to ensure that the different cultures and genders that experience judgment from others feel equal to other people. In the United States, however, the government should create more top jobs for females to help reduce poverty in families with female heads. The customary family unit breakdown is an adequate replication of the paucity levels faced daily by households that are led by female heads. Both the emic and etic perspectives are needed in any research as they work in unison, where the emic perspective helps individuals understand local realities. In contrast, etic perspectives help individuals to analyze the facts.


Duthie, L. (2005). White collars with Chinese characteristics: Global Capitalism and the formation of a social identity. Anthropology of Work Review, 26(3), 1-12. Retrieved from the AnthroSource database. Retrieved from

Jones, J. P & Kodras, J. E. (1990). Restructured Regions and Families: The Feminization of Poverty in the U.S. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 80(2), 163-183.

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Cultural & Moral Relativism: Understanding Diverse Lives & Moral Judgments - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 24). Retrieved from

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