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Cultural relativism, described variously as a theory, doctrine, or principle, emerged in the field of anthropology about a century ago, yet it still sparks debate and controversy. The concept logically migrated to the new fields of intercultural relations, intercultural training, and intercultural communication. Cultural relativism refers to the idea that the meaning, perceptions, behaviors, beliefs, values, actions, and organization of a group of people can be explained and understood only through that group’s cultural lens. The challenge for those seeking to acquire or build intercultural competence is to decide where they stand in the debate regarding cultural relativism. This entry explores a few of the most significant contributors to the idea of cultural relativism, distinguishing it from other related terms, and briefly examines perhaps ...

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