Assignment: Cultural Imposition
born into the culture. With ethnicity, the culture is a part of the ethnic background, so culture is embedded within the ethnic group. Ethnic groups have shared beliefs, values, norms, and practices that are learned and shared. These patterned behaviors are passed down from one generation to another and are thus preserved.
Cultural Ethnocentricity and Cultural Relativism Cultural ethnocentricity refers to a person’s belief that his or her culture is superior to another one. This can cause problems in the health care field. If a professional believes that his or her way is the better way to prevent or treat a health problem, the health care worker may disrespect or ignore the patient’s cultural beliefs and values. The health care professional may not take into consideration that the listener may have different views than the provider. This can lead to ineffective communication and treatment and leave the listener feeling unimportant, frustrated, disrespected, or confused about how to prevent or treat the health issue, and he or she might view the professional as uneducated, uncooperative, unapproachable, or closed-minded.
To be effective, one needs to see and appreciate the value of different cultures; this is referred to as cultural relativism. The phrase developed in the field of anthropology to refute the idea of cultural ethnocentricity. It posits that all cultures are of equal value and need to be studied from a neutral point of view. It rejects value judgments on cultures and holds the belief that no culture is superior to any other. Cultural relativism takes an objective view of cultures and incorporates the idea that a society’s moral code defines whether something is right (or wrong) for members of that society.
What Do You Think?
Cultural imposition occurs when one cultural group, usually the majority group, forces their culture view on another culture or subculture. Can you provide examples of cultural imposition? Do you think it is ethical? Why or why not?
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