The value of making cross-cultural comparisons.
Cultural anthropology encompasses all aspects of human beliefs, behaviors andideas. What would the world be like without any knowledge of other cultures?Anthropologists study different cultures to be more understanding and accepting,more appreciative and to enrich our own culture. What is the “real”problem with the Ku Klux Klan? Perhaps, if they took the time to understand theAfrican-American and Jewish cultures, for example, they would be more acceptingof the diversity. Hundreds of years of cultural imperialism has evolved into alegion of hate.
Emic studies put the researcher in the middle of the culture,free to interact and discover a new life style. After a few months or even ayear in a “different” culture, one has a better understanding of thelifestyle, and understanding leads to acceptance. Once people, especiallypowerful political leaders, learn cultural relativism war will be a practice ofthe past and only discussed in history classes. Another reason forcross-cultural comparison is to make us more appreciative of our own culture andenvironment.
For example, members of the Peace Corp volunteer months to years oftheir lives to live and help in third world countries. They may not be therewith the purpose of studying culture, however, living among the people andhaving to adapt to their way of life gives them a first-hand experience of athird world life. Seeing the way life is without any luxuries make us realizehow convenient our lives are. Plentiful amounts of food, clean water, stableshelter and adequate clothing are just a few of the many luxuries that ourculture sees as essentials. Many volunteers return from the Peace Corp and adopta new way of life; much less “extravagant” than the one they ledbefore. Finally, we study other cultures to enrich our own. Where would”Canadian culture” be without the influence of the French, Italian,Chinese, and all the other cultures that form the cultural mosaic that definesCanada? Without the mixture of cultures in our country, we would still be eatingmeat and potatoes for every meal. The cultural blend that has come together tomake up “Canada,” but yet retain their own individualities, worktogether to make a hybrid culture created from the best of all that arecombined. In conclusion, we see that without cross-cultural comparisons lifewould be boring and monotonous. Learning about other cultures makes us moreunderstanding, accepting, and appreciative of the diversity. No more war, nomore racism and no more ethnic cleansing once ethnocentrism and culturalimperialism are abolished. Cultural diversity is the “spice” of life.
Cite this Cross Cultural Studies
Cross Cultural Studies. (2019, Apr 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/cross-cultural-studies/