On Cultural Relativism and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
From the paper:
On Cultural Relativism and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Essay Example
Cultural relativism states that what is morally good and bad is collectively defined by the people in a culture, and therefore there is no objective way to judge between cultures. Thus, an act in one culture that seems barbaric to an outsider such as female circumcision cannot be thus judged, because the outsider has his own value system that is not relevant to the culture. In this paper, I will examine the theoretical and ideological underpinnings of this perspective, the problems that arise when it is applied to actual cultural diversity, and alternative ways of looking at the space between cultures. I will specifically investigate the controversial topic of female genital mutilation, and explore the problems involved in approaching the practice from outside the culture it is practiced in.