Cross cultural adaption was first put forward by american anthropologist robert redfield, the main representatives of american cultural personality, ralph linton and melville herskovits in the early 20. The intellectual standard critiquing cultural relativism ther elucidated the theory. In addition, i address not one or two, but eleven arguments for cultural relativism, many of which contribute to its popularity but receive scant attention from its critics. Melville jean herskovits, american anthropologist, was among the founders of african anthropology and african studies in the united states. Baixe no formato pdf, txt ou leia online no scribd. Ethnocentrism is a slippery concept that different disciplines and individuals use in diverse, inconsistent, and incompatible ways. Herskovits definition of art is exceptionally broad. In herskovits article, he talks about how cultural relativism is such a controversial study. Cultural relativism and cultural values by melville j. Sep 18, 20 in the passage, cultural relativism and cultural values, melville herskovits explains why morality has no absolute identity and that it is a social and cultural phenomenon that varies according to the customs and beliefs of different cultural groups 2. Herskovits papers consist of the research data field notes, both handwritten and typed used for their seminal publications on both old and new world african cultures, manuscripts of their books and published articles, conference papers and materials relating to their careers. Published way back in 1941, this unprecedented chronicling of the racist academic procedures practiced by most white scholars peers into the subject of the retainment of an african cultural identity and draws. Melville and frances herskovits page 3 herskovits, melville j.
Herskovits northwestern university d uring the past five years, the implications of cultural relativism have been considered at length in at least two books by philosophers and two by anthropologists. Study on crosscultural adaptation of southeast asian. Cultural relativism, posits herskovits, begins with the notion that experience is mans primary connection to reality. In their views, cross cultural adaption is the variant of cultural pattern, which is.
African studies was herskovits discussion of the cattle complex in east africa which formed the. Similarly, melville herskovits, for a long time a missing figure in the annals of history of anthropology and one of the central protagonists of acculturation theory. He also helped forge the concept of cultural relativism, particularly in his book man and his works. Reflective of the depth of his concern about the arts was his frequent emphasis on art as a cultural universal the search for beauty is universal in human experience 1955. Herskovits at the heart of blackness cultural relativism. Evanspritchard economic elements employed enculturation euroamerican european.
Herskovitss two decades of research in the field of what could now be called black diaspora studies, preceding world war ii, is reflected in his wartime. Melville herskovits, a wellknown anthropologist and student of boas, fur. Herskovits 18951963 work helped to shape how african. Cultural relativism is the idea that a persons beliefs, values, and practices should be understood based on that persons own culture, rather than be judged against the criteria of another it was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by franz boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and later popularized by his students. Herskovits drew from numerous social sciences to make his points, but he viewed culture as learned behavior and took an ethical position cultural relativism that precluded ethnocentric judgments. This would include everything from childhood training. There he established the first program in african studies at a major u. His tendency was to minimize, though not ignore, the influence of national or global forces on culture and emphasize endogenous development. Campbell points out in the introduction of herskovits s book. Publication date 1938 topics acculturation, ethnology publisher new york, j. In other words, a persons judgment about what is right and wrong is determined by their cultural experiences. From the 1920s to the 1960s, herskovits confronted questions about race and culture in innovative and groundbreaking ways, controverted hierarchical ways of thinking about humanity, and underscored the value of human diversity. The negro past and present explores the wartime contributions of melville herskovits, founder and chair of the first african studies program in the country, at northwestern university. Herskovits northwestern university d uring the past five years, the implications of cultural relativism have been considered at length in at least two books by philosophers and two.
It may be, as james fernandez 1990 has argued, that the portrait of herskovitss relativism conveyed in these books and essays misinterprets many. Sep 18, 20 cultural relativism can be portrayed by the opposite of ethnocentrism. Of all published articles, the following were the most read within the past 12 months. Herskovits spent his long academic career at northwestern university, from 1927 until his death in 1963. Herskovits at the heart of blackness examines the life and work of the jewishamerican anthropologist, melville herskovits, whose writings challenged prevailing notions of race and culture. Cultural relativism can be portrayed by the opposite of ethnocentrism. Americans in the united states were viewed and viewed themselves. Published way back in 1941, this unprecedented chronicling of the racist academic procedures practiced by most white scholars peers into the subject of the retainment. It is through experience that man comes to know about the world, and it is from this experience that judgments are derived.
Herskovits 4 editions first published in 1947 download daisy. Campbell points out in the introduction of herskovitss book. Herskovits at the heart of blackness follows melville herskovits historically significant efforts to connect african americans with africa, and interrogates the relationship between anthropological observer and subject. This study became the starting point of his fundamental work on the classification of african cultures into culture areas, which appeared in preliminary form in. Melville jean herskovits september 10, 1895 february 25, 1963 was an american anthropologist who helped establish african and africanamerican studies in american academia. Definition of cultural relativism although philosophically not very satisfactory see bidney 1953, pp. Any embellishment of ordinary living that is achieved with competence and has describable form 1955. Herskovits and the racial politics of knowledge is the first fullscale biography of the trailblazing anthropologist of african and african american cultures. California newsreel herskovits at the heart of blackness. Judgments are based on experience, and experience is interpreted by each individual in terms of his own enculturation. Cultural relativism of melville herskovits 141 man of science and a man of the world. Herskovits was criticized for his views on both the formation of africanamerican subculture and cultural relativism. In his book, the myth of the negro past, melville j.
Ethnocentrism is usually defined as a kind of ethnic or cultural. Herskovits cultural relativism and cultural values september 25, 20 sharindeva 2 comments morality is a universal this is the statement that, for me, summarized the entire reading. Originally published in 1941, his unprecedented study of black history and culture recovered a rich african heritage in religious and secular life, the language and arts of the americas. Melville jean herskovits, an american anthropologist who was a student of franz boas at columbia university, became a leading student of acculturation and an outstanding teacher at northwestern university, where he founded the first u. Herskovits at the heart of blackness documentary film. Melville jean herskovits 18951963 was an american anthropologist. Some further comments on cultural relativism1 herskovits. Herskovits at the heart of blackness melville herskovits. Herskovits was a champion of cultural relativism, which he saw as an antidote to european colonial attitudes and the ethnocentrism that they express. In herskovits time, when the meltingpot theory was still regarded as valid and a highly desirable outcome, one could interpret herskovits theories as saying that africanamericans were resistant to assimilation, and.
Herskovits, frances herskovits, american journal of sociology 79, no. He is known for exploring the cultural continuity from african cultures as expressed in africanamerican communities. Cultural relativism 2 california state university, northridge. His additional works include economic transition in africa, the human factor of changing africa, and life in a haitian valley. Some further comments on cultural relativism melville j.
Tolerance in a repugnant world and other dilemmas in the cultural. Cultural relativism is the idea that a persons beliefs, values, and practices should be understood based on that persons own culture, rather than be judged against the criteria of another. He studied at the university of chicago and columbia university, and later taught at northwestern university. Herskovits 18951963 employed physical anthropology and ethnography to undermine racist and hierarchical ways of thinking about humanity and to underscore the value of. Two points are central in understanding his conception of anthropology. In the passage, cultural relativism and cultural values, melville herskovits explains why morality has no absolute identity and that it is a social and cultural phenomenon that varies according to the customs and beliefs of different cultural groups 2. In addition to this monograph, herskovits produced two other major contributions to the study of dahomey in collaboration with his wife, an outline of dahomaen religious belief 1933 and, much later, dahomean narrative. It was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by franz boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and later popularized by his students. Herskovits cultural relativism and cultural values september 25, 20 sharindeva 2 comments morality is a universal this is the. Cultural relativism might be easier in theory than in practice. Melville herskovits 18951963 was an anthropologist most wellknown for his study the myth of the negro past. The myth of the negro past by herskovits melville,j. Take the case of melville herskovits, a jewishamerican anthropologist of slovak extraction who broke new ground in the definition and analysis of africanamerican culture.1045 486 1491 625 296 442 140 650 784 689 104 15 1494 133 528 498 1205 1437 85 851 1129 39 947 799 1099 388 518 399 342 338 1043 1312 1093 1203 1473 690 994 1208 1293 1038 1353