Essay On Cultural Relativism And Universal Human Rights

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“Cultural relativism asserts that since each culture has its own inherent integrity with unique values and practices, value judgements should be withheld or suspended until cultural context is taken into account,” (Fluehr-Lobban). In Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban’s article Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights, she examines the way anthropologists have gone about observing and recording other cultures in their practices for years, and how with new facts and oppositions arising each day as light is shed on certain practices from all over the world, there may be times when cultural relativism needs to be set aside for the good of humanity as a whole. Historically, anthropologists have tried their best to remain neutral when it comes to these issues. In 1947, the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association did not lend their…show more content…
Where it fails is times when we need to distinguish when an act is considered merely part of a culture’s norm or if it is discretely malicious. Part of me believes that we do not have the right at all to pass judgement on another’s culture, as we are not a part of it and it is not our business. But when there is a systematic pattern of people seeking refuge from their own culture, what kind of human being can turn them away? For example, there are families and individuals fleeing from North Korea’s dictatorship every day, and their stories are numerous. They come from a society where they routinely fear for their rights, their lives, and the lives of loved ones. There is clear variance between this culture and many Native American cultures. I cannot think of a single case I have learned about or read in which someone has “fled” from their tribe or reservation. These societies are incredibly unique from ours, and yet one uses repressive means to control their members while another is simply that: different from ours. Not oppressive. Not harmful. Just

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