SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Cultural Universal, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Muammar Gaddafi

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
Sociology
Course
SOCA02H3
Professor
SOCA02 Week 11 March 28, 2013
Genital Mutilation
- Intersection multiculturalism (Cultural relativism), feminism, anti-colonialism, political
correctness
o Brief article on home page
o Brym “It’s your choice”
Universal principles of human decency
(Vs.) Cultural relativism
Argue Here: No Real Debate
- Condemn women to horrible reality based on an ideological position
o Abstract ideologies have their limits
o Consistency (or idealogical purity) for its own sake generates irrational outcomes
Ralph Waldo Emerson: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines
Some Radical Feminists (RF)
- Call it “genital cutting”
- Assert all cultures are equal
o Need affirm them
Avoid ethnocentrism, racism neo-imperialism)
Ethnocentrism “My culture is better than yours”
Not deny cultural sovereignty to less powerful peoples
All Cultures are equal: BUT!
- (RF) often exempt the West
o Practiced conquest, colonialism, imperialism
Invoke sense guilt for their past
- (RF) Claim that West is somehow worse than others
o Warfare (& conquest) were historical givens
- Spread Islam
o Conversions and conquest
Spread very quickly, more in the middle ages
In The End …
- West more successful militarily, 17th century on
- Counterfactual historical claim
o Others would more or less done what the West did
Japan
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Burma
Monks were being killed by political elites because they wanted
democracy
All Cultures Are Equal: So We Must Respect Other Cultures
- Accept genital mutilation
o Deeply embedded in the culture
o Meaningful
Afraid of female sexually (Too powerful)
o Serves useful functions
We Also Should Accept…
- Warfare and conquest (piracy)
o It’s deeply embedded in history
o Exists almost everywhere
- Rape in War
o Always been part of war, even in the bible
- Slavery
- Torture
- Forced Marriages
- Honour Killing
o If you shame the family/do the wrong thing they might kill you
All of this follows from taking cultural relativism (& political correctness) to their logical extremes.
- No sense of proportion. Some sense of judgment
Last Term Noted:
- All cultural practices relative
o Few rather weak cultural universals
- But:
o Not become captive to relativism
Possibility of emergent universal principles
Emergent Universal Principles
- National sovereignty
o Relatively new
Emerged with the nation state
- Right to intervene in the affairs of nations
o National sovereignty rejected
Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-5
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Document Summary

Soca02 week 11 march 28, 2013. Intersection multiculturalism (cultural relativism), feminism, anti-colonialism, political correctness: brief article on home page, brym it"s your choice . Universal principles of human decency (vs. ) cultural relativism. Condemn women to horrible reality based on an ideological position: abstract ideologies have their limits, consistency (or idealogical purity) for its own sake generates irrational outcomes. Ralph waldo emerson: a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. Assert all cultures are equal: need affirm them. Ethnocentrism my culture is better than yours . Not deny cultural sovereignty to less powerful peoples. All cultures are equal: but! (rf) often exempt the west: practiced conquest, colonialism, imperialism. Invoke sense guilt for their past (rf) claim that west is somehow worse than others: warfare (& conquest) were historical givens. Spread very quickly, more in the middle ages. West more successful militarily, 17th century on.

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