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Cultural Relativism: Home

Assignment Overview

What happens when something that is legally and morally permissible in one culture is illegal and immoral in another? How does one confront this conflicting issue? Cultural relativism states that one should try to understand the cultural act on the culture's own terms and make no moral judgments towards that act. But what happens when this act violates another culture's human rights, ethics, and/or morality? Should one stand back and observe cultural relativism, or is it okay to cast judgment?

Is it okay to speak out against a cultural practice if that particular cultural practice violates human rights?


You will choose TWO of these topics to research, but then select ONE as the topic of your research paper.

  • Arranged Marriage
  • Treatment of women in some Muslim countries*
  • Polygamy
  • Female Genital Mutilation*
  • Child Labor
  • Honor Killings*

*These are sensitive topics that may trigger an emotional response.

  • Did you discover an especially helpful website, article, search string, or resource?
  • Do you have a great research strategy to share?
  • Did you have a "lightbulb" moment while researching for this project?

​Contribute your ideas to the collaborative Hyperdoc, and learn from your fellow classmates!

Cultural Relativism HyperDoc

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