Relationship Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism

Paper Type:  Book review
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1233 Words
Date:  2022-04-14

Question# 1: Relationship Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism

Cultural ethnocentrism is a notion by another individual to think that their own culture far better than that of other people. Such individuals tend to defend their cultures worldwide. Besides, it is an existing natural feature that has its roots in most of the African nation than it is in the westernized societies. There are several ways in which ethnocentrism works, for instance, you are a driver who drives on left sides. When you go to another country where drivers rights sides to drive, you begin to undermine their cultures always thinking that yours is the best while there is imperfect on.

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On the other sides, cultural relativists are individuals who affirm that every given culture needs to be understood in its independent context, as different cultures should not be thought as a universal entity (Spradley, & In McCurdy, 2012). Besides, cultural relativism accords every culture the respect and the needs it deserves. It involves looking at every culture about what it can bring to the society. For example, if a given tribe paints their face during a particular ceremony or event, you should not undermine them given that, there must be a reason why they dose so. Ask your self is such actions are symbolic and where do they come from based on the underlying practices. However, the primary relationship between the two terms is that they both present ideas on culture and how people view them, except that they differ in their opinion (Spradley, & In McCurdy, 2012). The paper seeks to answers questions on cultural issues more so on cultural relativism as well as cultural ethnocentrism and some of the related terms to the above concepts.

Question# 2: Ethnography, Its Strength, and Weakness and What I Learned From Other Peoples Cultures

Ethnography, as the name suggests, is the research methods that aim at knowing better other people's culture outside your own. It entails learning from other cultures and finding what is new and unique from your own culture. The method relies on different aspects to analyze its finding. Besides, it relates to diverse fields of studies such as social science and community-based internship about personal experience (Spradley, & In McCurdy, 2012). In simple term, it is a branch of anthropology that drives a concept of understanding different groups lives their cultures. It encompasses direct participation and observation that results in a written account of people from different perspectives. Example of an ethnographic situation is leaning of and interacting with a community that believes in the existence of one God to extend that they worship under a tree. It is a Kenyan ethnical community known as the Kikuyu community.

The Kikuyu community believes in the existence of a supreme being called "Ngai." They worship under a big fig tree where they believe Gods reigns. It surprises to realize that such practices still do in the twenty-first century. The lesson learned from such cultural practice is that it is to accord respect to other community's cultures regardless of their practice or lifestyle. Never undermine different cultures even if theirs maybe inferior to yours.

Strengths and Weakness of Ethnographic Approach

Ethnographic approaches in most cases tend to help in the investigation of some of the complex, unpredictable relationships, situations and cultural issues within different communities that cannot be achieved by other measurements methods such as surveys and other quantitative approaches. The ethnographers tend to be keen while gathering data from using various methods such as interviews and direct observations. The results of their research are always in-depth understanding of different culture and a well-performed analysis of the underlying hidden aspects that need to be disclosed. The strength of this particular research study is that it acts as the voice of understanding among different cultural communities from diverse perspectives (Spradley, & In McCurdy, 2012). It provides a window that other groups can use to analyze other people's cultures and understand what they do and the reasons why they carry out such practices. On the weakness sides, the method is time consume and expensive regarding resources allocation and time wastage. Besides, the researchers at some point in their time may not get the required information right on time and from the trusted sources as it is required. Moreover, the ethnography needs extensive training, which may be expensive, and time-consuming.

Question#3: How the Concept of Globalization Reshape the Local Conditions and How Such Forces Affects the Local Communities

Globalization affects the local communities and their practices in several ways. Besides, it helps in reshaping the local conditions mostly in the underlying forces. For instance, the impacts of international trade, currency, transportation, communication improvements, foreign good and so forth have brought both positive and negative impacts in the natural settings. Through world's globalization, many issues have changed from the societal set-up, education system transport and communication (Spradley, & In McCurdy, 2012). The world has been made into a much smaller village where people can just move about without having trouble. More importantly, globalization has also helped in manipulating several cultures with the changes in the technological advancements. Unlike before when people could travel long distance on foot, today, there are vehicles and even aeroplanes that make movements efficient and fast. In the same note, globalization has enables a free creation of international marketing a freeways communication that has enabled products accessibilities becoming easy and with efficient delivery. Some of the products that have been made available with globalization impacts include food materials, clothes, drugs, films, books, recent television programs. Regarding social values, globalization brought several changes concerning commitments, myths, and symbols within different groups around the world. Women's role too has changed dramatically from the notion their role in the society was to give birth and do the house chores.

Question #4: Social Problems as Discussed in the Text

One of the most underlying social problems as discussed in the text is poverty and disease within our society. Issues like illness, hunger and poor sanitation are some of the common causes of poverty. It, therefore, does not mean that not having food means being poor, it is all about not being able to feed yourself and the people around you. Poverty and diseases in most cases tend to go hand in hand. It tends to be a barrier to the country's level of economic development (Spradley, & In McCurdy, 2012). Consequently, low income and high level of unemployment would create an environment where children are not able to seek excellent education and the required health care service, a situation that may expose them to diseases. Ultimately, disease and poverty are some of the major causes of societal social tensions and possible threats that may divide nation based on inequality.


In conclusion, through ethnographic research, ethnographers can always use their experience in each field to educate and create community awareness based awareness. Some of the areas that need to be addressed are matters to do with family planning that would not result in the parent's burden in raising and providing some of the must-basic needs. Conversely, ethnographers, through most of the training they undergo can positively use their influence to convince the society in changing their lifestyle to prevent chances of contracting some of the common but preventable infectious diseases and improve their living standard


In Spradley, J. P., & In McCurdy, D. W. (2012). Conformity and Conflict: Readings in cultural anthropology. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson.

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Relationship Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism. (2022, Apr 14). Retrieved from

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