Card Set Information
Human Rights nicole
Cultural relativism def
the view that all beliefs, customs, and ethics are relative to the individual within his own social context
argued there is no objective criteria for judging one culture above another
all cultures are equal since no universal standard exists
argue that culture can be obstacle for HR
UDHR to promote workd peace but also universal rights independent of race, sex, language, religion
intl treaty allowing intervention in cases of HR abuse
AAA statement on HR:
promotes respect of cultural different
BUT argues as individuals only exist as members of social groups individual freedom cannot be recognised
"man is only free when he lives as his society defines freedom"
AAA critque on UDHR:
reflects Euro-American values and not humanity as a whole
Western values despire advocating there is no place for judgement within culture - ironic!
a form of imperialsim
HR cannot be dictated on the rights of a single culture
needs tolerance of difference along w/ values of freedom and choice
response to AAA statement
: "shameful as it asserted tolerance without limits"
describes relativism as incompatible with making moral judgements about societies
response to AAA statement - Scheper-Hughes
criticises "moral relativism" of anthro
tolerance for gross injustices under the name of culture
calls for a "militant anthropology"
: obligation to assist in the struggles of people we study
"Demonisation of Culture"
argues critiques of relativism are based on outdated anthro ideas about "culture"
importance of cultural difference is misunderstood when culture is thought of as bounded static
meaning that by being relative we must defend every practise and belief
leads people to see culture as unchanging with unquestioned authority eg religion
fluid, contested, hybradised, dynamic
fluid boundaries and consists of habits and practices
not just values and beliefs - diverse views
ALWAYS connected to power relations
"culturalisation" of problems
single instances of abuse are attributed to another's "culture!
assumptions supported by stereotypes
eg gang rape in Afganistan - women seen as victims of "traditional values" and oppression blamed on local culture
BUT ignores wider political and economic factors
"Following the Movement of a Pendulum"
argues that universalism and relativism cannot be considered independently of each other
need to accomodate each other to be sustainable
universalism as arrogance:
when one is convinced of the righteousness of HR excludes the experience of "the other"
what one perceives as natural is not to another
what is natural is often nothing more than what is mainstream
relativism as indifference
tends to assume people are more determined by their culture than they actually are
fails to take into account historical change
boundries are not fixed
Dembour - FGM
justifications for GFM fail to stand up to Western rationality
seen as maintaining subordination of women
but important part of identity/personhood
makes "women a woman"
France - overview
conservative policies than emphasise integration (assimilation) rather than recognition towards difference
French prosecution argument
force of custom must give way before law
France has a duty to protect its children
BUT FGM also recognised as a custom that should be valued
the act is criminal but the intention is not
act of love
imprisonment would punish the victim further
French FGM result
result: jurors pass suspended sentences to FGM practitioners
reflecting the adoption of midway psoition between universalism and relativism
reveals the enforcement of law but also recognition of cultural difference
Hr shouldn't be seen as opposed to cultural difference but rather should incorporate it
HR is just one vision of how to achieve human dignity or envisage human order
"intermediary" space should be created where universalism and relativism can be combined in HR discourse