Re: Reality Check Redux Deja Vu

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Tue, 9 Jul 1996 11:29:28 -0400

In message <> Robert Snower writes:

> But you can't do this properly without advocacy--for both sides. Sympathy
> for alternative solutions must be utilized in teaching, in order to achieve
> understanding, a somewhat difficult task, and, it is my impression, almost
> utterly lacking in current anthropology. But of course, it is never a pure
> opposition of equality versus hierarchy.

Isn't this where the concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism* come in?
In presenting a given sociocultural system don't we ask our students to suspend
their ethnocentric judgements and try to understand the system in question on
its own terms?

* I hasten to add that I mean cultural relativism as a research tool, not
philosophy's misappropriation a.k.a. ethical relativism.

Ronald Kephart
Dept of Language & Literature
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL USA 32224-2645
Phone: (904) 646-2580