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Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. Sociology 111 Fall 2008. Alfred Schutz. German philosopher and sociologist Heavily influenced branch of symbolic interactionist sociology called phenomenology Responsible for the core concept of social construction. “The world taken for granted”.

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Presentation Transcript
alfred schutz
Alfred Schutz
  • German philosopher and sociologist
  • Heavily influenced branch of symbolic interactionist sociology called phenomenology
    • Responsible for the core concept of social construction
the world taken for granted
“The world taken for granted”
  • Assume that our culture is natural
  • Deeply penetrates our identity
  • Evaluate everything through the lens of our culture
  • Allows us to easily

function in daily life

internalization
Internalization
  • Process of learning culture so well that it is bound to your identity
  • Internalized culture or “culture within”
encountering other cultures
Culture shock

Immersion in an unfamiliar environment causes disorientation

Radically different cultures can challenge or cause us to question our basic assumptions

Anomie

Encountering other cultures
ethnocentrism
Ethnocentrism

Viewing other cultures through the lens of our own

Taking our own culture as the “norm”

Group solidarity & pride in heritage

Devaluing groups other than own

Ethnocentrism
cultural relativism
Evaluating a culture on its own terms

Learning to “see” from the perspective of another in order to understand a culture

Refraining from making judgments of “right” and “wrong”

Cultural Relativism
for consideration
For consideration
  • Is it possible to always practice cultural relativism?
  • Should we always practice cultural relativism?
    • Are there practices that we as moral beings should oppose, even as social scientists?
    • Should scientific objectivity take precedence above all?
  • If a line is to be drawn, where should it be?
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