10 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Cultural Relativism

Topics and ideas
Posted on March 9, 2016

Cultural relativism is a complex matter that needs thorough processing. When writing a compare and contrast essay on it you will need a few solid facts. It is for this reason what we’ve prepared the 10 below for you.

Please be sure to check them:

  1. Cultural relativity is the idea that cultures are responsible for shaping perceived notions, beliefs, and the value systems of their organization. It is also believed that culture is what informs people within a specific group and directs their behavior.
  2. In the fields of linguistics and psychology, the theory of cultural relativism is the one which has been explored for economic, sociological, and political gains. It is hoped by some researchers that their findings can contribute to better knowledge about cultures. Cultural relativism is explored typically by ethnographic research, where the scientists are the observers within a culture.
  3. Immanuel Kant played a key role in the foundation of cultural relativism, whose ideas were challenged by Johannes Gottfried Herder. Herder helped to inspire better research aside from pure reason, specifically as it related to ethnology and geography. It is here that it was argued that humans will rely upon signs in order to gain comprehension and make decisions, signs which are not necessarily from a god or celestial authority but are handed down within their community. Human communities have their own understanding, their own knowledge, their own meaning, and each person within that community gains specific cultural enlightenment.
  4. One area often passed down among cultures is the idea of gender roles and what constitutes a rite of passage. The Catholic faith hinders a sexual rite of passage by regulating sexuality and linking any sexual act outside of a committed marriage to sin. The Catholic Church significantly interferes with the sexual rite of passage associated with the sociocultural transitory phases of sexuality. Whether a lifestyle of complete devotion or a lifestyle of complete sin, both are harmful to the development of a person and contradictory to the sexual development of individual consciousness.
  5. The rite of passage is meant as a sociocultural idea, categorized as the liminal period. It is an inter-structural situation which is experienced as the individual but influenced by the culture or society. The successful rite of passage encompasses the full transition from one state to another. In this instance, “state’ relates to a fixed or at least stable condition, which can include things such as social constancies like a profession or a calling, or can include the physical, mental, and emotional conditions in which a person might be at a unique moment in time. State is culturally recognized as the two ends of a process of becoming, or a transformation.
  6. Conflicts between new and old nations are often rooted in a lack of cultural relativism, or one wherein the two cultures refuse to be accommodating or accepting of the other. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the Middle East. The conflict in the Middle East, between Israelis and Palestinians, can be said to have roots in several of these common issues. For one thing, the conflict itself tends to be viewed as a religious one. This is because the Israeli state was created as a haven for the remaining Jewish population at the end of World War II. It is estimated that the Holocaust eliminated 1/3 of all Jewish persons in the world, and the newly-founded United Nations along with many supporters helped to establish Israel. This means that it is a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab world. The Arab world is predominantly Muslim, and this is where the majority of the religious conflict can be identified.
  7. Just because one nation is Jewish and other is Muslim, is not the sole reason of the conflict. Political and economic causes are also present. In their rush to establish a reasonable and tenable place for Jewish immigrants to settle, leaders in Europe and the United States have failed to address the dissatisfaction of the existing population in what had been Palestine, and which was divided up to create Israel.
  8. Black Liberation Theology is a theological system founded by Reverend James Cone. Its origins begin in 1966 with the National Committee of Negro Churchman. Over the decades, this theological belief system has purported that God is black and that His Word is focused on helping the oppressed and the downtrodden.
  9. Within American Christianity the ideas of slavery and race were purportedly supported by the Bible. Southern Baptists supported slavery with the Bible and not until 1995 was a formal Declaration of Repentance adopted which declared all forms of racism as deplorable and lamented, with all historical ties to racism an evil part of history. It was the Southern Baptist Committee who issued a formal apology for having perpetuated racism. And while all branches of Christianity had their racist past ties, Black Liberation theology attests that Christ is the forerunner for pursuing individual sanctuary and opposing racism. As a result, dialogue must be had regarding the implications that historical racism had on the black community.
  10. Black liberation theology primarily focuses today on how to make Christianity real for the African American community. It explains that Christianity focuses on liberation in the here and the now, not just in the afterlife. The goal of this theology is not to require special treatment, but to require freedom and justice. Black theologians use scripture as the sanction for these demands.

These should make your essay writing firm and greatly improve your narrative. For additional information you may check our 20 topics and 1 sample essay on cultural relativism along with our guide on a compare and contrast essay on this topic.

Berry, Jack W. “Radical Cultural Relativism and the Concept of Intelligence.” Culture and Cognition: Readings in Cross-Cultural Psychology (1974): 225-229.
“Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period.” Rites De Passage. Proceedings of the American Ethnological Society, 1965. 93-111. Print.
Brems, Eva. “Enemies or allies? Feminism and cultural relativism as dissident voices in Human Rights Discourse.” Human Rights Quarterly 19.1 (1997): 136-164.
Christensen, Harold T. “Cultural relativism and premarital sex norms.”American Sociological Review (1960): 31-39.
Cook, John W. “Morality and Cultural Differences.” (1999).
Donnelly, Jack. “Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights.” Human Rights Quarterly 6.4 (1984): 400-419.
Gell, Alfred. “The Anthropology of Time: Cultural Constructions of Temporal Maps and Images.” (1992).
Herskovits, Melville J. “Cultural Relativism; Perspectives in Cultural Pluralism.” (1972).
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Viking, 1964. Print.

Upgrade your essays with these FREE writing tools!
Get started now