Ruth benedict cultural relativism essay

Moral relativism is the lazy way to defend your apathy on moral issues. They want to encourage all these types of people to join together and not fight amongst themselves.

Ruth Benedict was a crucial conduit of Boasian anthropology for popular consumption. Study of a culture through its literaturethrough newspaper clippings, through films and recordings, etc.

Career in anthropology[ edit ] Education and early career[ edit ] In her search for a career, she decided to attend some lectures at the New School for Social Research while Ruth benedict cultural relativism essay into the possibility of becoming an educational philosopher.

She described in detail the contrasts between rituals, Ruth benedict cultural relativism essay, personal preferences amongst people of diverse cultures to show how each culture had a "personality" that was encouraged in each individual.

Moral Relativism

The Savage could be explained through crude environmental or geographic determinism, or as a racial determinism, newly buttressed by the idea of each race located in evolutionary hierarchy. There exist within historically specific populations recurrences in both thought and behavior that are not contingent but structurally conditioned and that are, in turn, structuring.

The nations united against fascismthey continue, include "the most different physical types of men. Benedict College in Stony Brook University has been named after her. Critics have objected to the degree of abstraction and generalization inherent in the "culture and personality" approach.

Different societies at different times have held different theories about the planets and stars. However, in making this turn, Benedict would also perhaps more than Boas turn to consider each as a separate whole.

For example, she described the emphasis on restraint in Pueblo cultures of the American southwest, and the emphasis on abandon in the Native American cultures of the Great Plains.

John Dewey has said in all seriousness that the part played by custom in shaping the behavior of the individual as over against any way in which he can affect traditional custom, is as the proportion of the total vocabulary of his mother tongue over against those words of his own baby talk that are taken up into the vernacular of his family.

Our fears over even very minor shifts in custom are usually quite beside the point. In this way there is no relativism, only differing applications of moral concepts. Herein lies the one absolute of moral relativism: Becoming traditional, they would be given the same richness of content, the same importance and value, that the older patterns had in other generations.

Benedict also fails to recognize the common human experience, namely, human nature. She describes how, in ancient Greece, the worshipers of Apollo emphasized order and calm in their celebrations. No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes.

For example, David Friend Aberle writes that the Pueblo people may be calm, gentle, and much given to ritual when in one mood or set of circumstances, but they may be suspicious, retaliatory, and warlike in other circumstances.

They are a laboratory in which we may study the diversity of human institutions.

The Concept of Culture

Human behavior is patterned. Yet, WWII made her focus on other areas of concentration of anthropology and the lectures were never presented in their entirety. In saying that the two phrases are synonymous, she is saying this: While I agree with Benedict that people are malleable, and we tend to follow the crowd in moral issues, her explanation of relativism appears biased.

In their bodies is the record of their brotherhood. In this context, some principles of moral relativism are valid: Accounts of others, and the use of stories about the Savage, became an argument within an emergent West on the possibilities of utopia against the necessity of order.

Other Japanese who have read this work, according to Margaret Mead, found it on the whole accurate but somewhat "moralistic". She used the Nietzschean opposites of "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" as the stimulus for her thought about these Native American cultures.

Herskovits defends relativism on the grounds that it is an antidote to ethnocentrism, which has led Europeans and Americans to behave with intolerance toward cultures with different values. Some have argued that particular patterns she found may be only a part or a subset of the whole cultures.

William Shaw gives a typical response to ethical relativism. This world-wide cultural diffusion has protected us as man had never been protected before from having to take seriously the civilizations of other peoples; it has given our culture a massive universality that we have long ceased to account for historically, and which we read off rather as necessary and inevitable.

While ideas vary from culture to culture and time to time, it does not follow that there is not a universal moral standard that we should follow. They were attempting to understand the cultural patterns that might be driving their aggression, and hoped to find possible weaknesses, or means of persuasion that had been missed.

This book is an instance of Anthropology at a Distance. Additionally, ideas of others had shifted more toward absence and negation. Systematic Erasure of Continuous Encounters. These lectures were focused around the idea of synergy.Ruth Benedict's Patterns of Culture translated Boasian Anthropology & its concept of culture to a mass audience.

Plus cultural relativism & cultural wholes. Ruth Benedict () American anthropologist in favor of ethical relativism; author of Patterns of culture. Benedict's argument for moral relativism. 1. Morality is culturally relative - morality is merely socially approved habits/mores.

Ruth Benedict

Majority of individuals in any cultural group are shaped into the fashion of their own cultural. Ruth Benedict essaysThe explorations into the enculturation of human beings and its numerous variations have molded the groundwork of anthropology. A field so entrenched in the comparative study of human societies and cultures, anthropology has facilitated the understanding of how humans have adapt.

Ruth Benedict’s “Case for Moral Relativism” claims beliefs and practices form irrationally and randomly, creating a world where no one morality is ‘better’ than any other morality.

In this paper, I will discuss moral relativism and cultural relativism, and. Video: Ethical Relativism & Ruth Benedict's Anthropology and the Abnormal In this lesson, examine what you think is normal and what is abnormal when it comes to morality.

One student who felt especially fond of Ruth Benedict was Ruth Landes. Benedict, in Patterns of Culture, expresses her belief in cultural relativism. She desired to show that each culture has its own moral imperatives that can be understood only if one studies that culture as a whole.

It was wrong, she felt, to disparage the customs or.

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