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Ethical and Cultural Relativism

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

The principle of ethical and cultural relativism is widely misunderstood within academic, political, and social arenas. In its original sense, the principle of cultural relativism is a methodological statement about how cultures should be studied. Anthropologists believe individuals’ cognitions, motivations, and behaviors are learned culturally and can be understood only in terms of the individual's cultural context. Although never specifically used in his writings, the phrase cultural relativism is often attributed to the anthropologist Franz Boas. ...

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