Definition of Cultural Relativism
(noun) The view that a culture can only be understood and judged by the standards, behaviors, norms, and values within the culture and not by anything outside.
Examples of Cultural Relativism
- Understanding why bullfighting is a practice in Spain (religious factors).
- Understanding why individuals in some parts of Asia eat insects (subsistence strategy).
- Understanding why American individuals place high value on individual success and material wealth (Protestant Reformation in Europe, producing Calvinism; Calvinist New World settlers).
- Understanding why female genital mutilation is practiced in some cultures of sub-Saharan Africa (religion, family honor).
Cultural Relativism Pronunciation
Syllabification: cul·tur·al rel·a·tiv·ism
- American English – /kUHl-chuhr-ruhl rEl-uh-ti-viz-uhm/
- British English – /kUHl-chuh-ruhl rE-luh-ti-vi-zuhm/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈkʌlʧərəl ˈrɛlətɪˌvɪzəm/
- British English – /ˈkʌlʧərəl ˈrɛlətɪvɪzm/
- Plural: cultural relativisms
- Word origin of “cultural” and “relativism” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
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Cite the Definition of Cultural Relativism
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “cultural relativism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 28, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/cultural-relativism/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
cultural relativism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/cultural-relativism/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “cultural relativism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/cultural-relativism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“cultural relativism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/cultural-relativism/>.