Human beings are social creatures who live in a society with different cultural backgrounds. Culture can be defined as characteristics or attributes of a particular group of people in the society who can be identified by their language, religion, music, art and even the way they dress, the culture is passed to different generation through learning. Culture has been there since of the evolution story and has evolved with human beings. Culture differs depending on the people living in a certain geographical area, age and also gender. Different nations have their own, the youth, and the adults also have their cultures that are different, and in terms of gender there is female and male culture.
With different diverse cultures in the world, there are cultures which seem right while others are considered to be wrong, this depends on the individual interpretation of the cultures. Culture relativism gives a viewpoint of culture and defined it to be right or wrong. According to culture relativism, all the beliefs, ethics, customs and other attributes of culture are relative and depends on an individual’s social context. One aspect of culture can be good in one society but considered to be wrong in a different society. One cannot judge another society’s culture since it is not a universal human attribute. Culture is also dynamic, a cultural practice can be considered to be right in the present but after a few years it is outdated and the society considers it to be wrong. Culture according to anthropologists is a legitimate way for human beings to express themselves and should be studied with a neutral approach. One society cannot judge the cultural aspects of another society; it is the role of every society to determine what is good or wrong for its people. To any person studying culture, cultural relativism is important since one would need a neutral approach when studying different cultures.
There has been heated debate on whether anthropology should be classified as a social science or a physical science. Many anthropologists classify it as a natural science; it differs from other social sciences such as sociology, psychology and history in different ways. In anthropology, there is detailed an in-depth study of and comparison of different societies to understands variation in human culture, other social sciences such as sociology put more emphasis on the universal patterns that characterize human behavior. Anthropology also deals with cultural beginning, biological origin and evolution of mankind while other social sciences such as economics and psychology do not deal much on the history of man.Anthropology uses practical based approaches in when collecting information while other social sciences are more theoretical based.
Understanding culture is important since it gives one a better understanding of the people and their origin. Once one understands other people he/she can appreciate them, this creates a society where people live in peaceful coexistence. The society is made of diverse people who have different opinions and approaches of life, once one understand the background of this people, he/she is able to interact with them freely. Human behavior is influenced by culture, religion, diet, dressing, marriage and even politics are some of the things that are well explained by understanding the culture of different people. An example of one culture that has been there for many years is the African culture of paying the bride price, when one marries from an African family, the bridegroom has to pay dowry price that is viewed as compensation to the bride’s parents.
Howard, Michael C., and Janet Hattis. Anthropology: understanding human adaptation. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. Print.