Friday, June 22, 2012

in which sociology falls all over itself

The following question on a quiz today really stuck in my craw:

Because we tend to use our own culture to judge that of others, ___________ present(s) a challenge to ordinary thinking.

[Correct answer is cultural relativism]

The course is full of enough that seems valid and interesting that you'd be foolish to dismiss it all out of hand, but the question above has one glaring contradiction to me.  The first chapter went to great lengths to say that everyone has a culture and this frame of reference is so ingrained for the individual that the person will be unaware of their own biases in much the same way that a fish has no awareness of the water in which it swims.   If everyone has this cultural relativism, isn't viewing the culture of others through the lens of cultural relativism the very definition of ordinary thinking?


Gaffer said...

The social scientist that wrote the question doesn't see any logical defect. Since it's ok for him to have a cultural (and a bias) but you have to see his culture as correct and you must conform to his thinking. His reasoning is that you are ignorant and must be led by supurior beings such as himself.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Gaffer's comment!

PPPP said...

And you are taking this course, why?

TOTWTYTR said...

PPPP, I'd say it's a requirement of her major.

I have a degree in Sociology, which in and of itself is worth a jar of cat urine.

Going to college almost ruined my brain.

Some would delete the "almost" from that sentence.