Is Cultural Relativism Possible in America? April 27, by Brooke 1 Comment Is it possible in western society to believe that no one culture is superior to another? Is it even a logical approach to dealing and interacting with other cultures?
I tackled the rest over the summer when I returned home to Montana. Eric Wolf made sense of the world. I remained a history major, but I eventually studied anthropology because of Europe and the People Without History. Wolf was my introduction to the question of What is Anthropology? Wolf describes a world of interconnection.
Sad too is that contemporary anthropology textbooks need to relearn this lesson. This may be why people like Bill Gates were never exposed to this way of understanding the world. A Totality of Interconnected Processes The central assertion of interconnectedness rests on recapturing the historical details of European expansion in the last years.
The world from the 16th century knits together every continent, plying trans-oceanic linkages. The question is to understand how it was Europeans who directed this expansion. This question is critical for world history and contemporary realities: An observer looking at the world in A.
Rome had fallen, and no effective centralized power had taken its place. Instead, a host of writing anthropologically tributary domains disputed rights to the shattered Roman inheritance. Six hundred years later, in A. The many petty principalities had writing anthropologically into a smaller number of effective polities.
These polities were competing successfully with their neighbors to the south and east and were about to launch major adventures overseas. Diamond would have us believe that the answer lies in the shape of the continents, latitude and longitude gradients, and agriculture, particularly large domesticated animals.
Although this much older story may account for the fact that many of the most powerful polities have been in Eurasia, it cannot account for the rise of Europe A. Everyone agrees that geography matters. The World in Just as surely there were people and rulers who justified their power by invoking divine authorities, or claiming biological, cultural, intellectual superiority.
There were also those who would marvel at the sometimes quite rapid rises and declines, the shifting balances of power. Geography is of course important. And undoubtedly agriculture, especially intensive agriculture, is important in this story.
Agriculture may not be necessary for sedentary existence—the peoples on the Pacific Coast of North America had settled life through fishing. Agriculture may not have even been necessary for the rise of some of the first states.
What Does it Mean to be Human? Nevertheless, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to run an empire without intensive agriculture. There may also be geographical features which encouraged city and state formation. Some of the latest findings indicate Maize was key in early Andean civilisationand so it would seem almost all urban-state forms have relied on agriculture.
Can anyone say that the present balance of economic and political power will be the same in as it is today? For example, in the year some of the most powerful and largest cities in the world existed in China, India, and Turkey. In the yearmany of the mightiest cities were located in Peru, Iraq, and Central Asia.
In the year they could be found in central Mexico, Italy, and China. What geographic determinism can account for this? McAnany and Yoffee, Questioning Collapse When closely examined, the overriding human story is one of survival and regeneration.
Certainly crises existed, political forms changed, and landscapes were altered, but rarely did societies collapse in an absolute and apocalyptic sense.
Groups that defined themselves as culturally distinct were linked by kinship or ceremonial allegiance; states expanded, incorporating other peoples into more encompassing political structures; elite groups succeeded one another, seizing control of agricultural populations and establishing new political and symbolic orders.Being a culturally relative individual is a difficult task even for cultural anthropologists.
Is it possible in America to be relative amongst stereotypes? Feminist anthropology is a four field approach to anthropology (archeological, biological, cultural, linguistic) that seeks to reduce male bias in research findings, anthropological hiring practices, and the scholarly production of knowledge.
Anthropology engages often with feminists from non-Western traditions, whose perspectives and experiences can differ from those of white European and American . Anthropologically speaking, are you sure is this your face?
(#bookreview, This is the review of Face and Mask by Has Belting and it is already published in the Journal of Continue Reading Anthropologically speaking, are you sure is this your face?
Anthropology is a global discipline involving humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Anthropology builds upon knowledge from natural sciences, including the discoveries about the origin and evolution of Homo sapiens, human physical traits, human behavior, the variations among different groups of humans, how the evolutionary past .
Just be aware of the madness! This is my cabinet of curiosity where I write, share, persuade and appeal to every form of reality, anthropologically.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been developing an advanced survey course on culture, psychiatry and mental health. I’ve now taught it twice at the University of Chicago, and while I’ll continue to make changes, I thought that it might be interesting to share the syllabus with others.