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SOCA02 - Week 11 - March 28, 2013

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Sheldon Ungar

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, 17 century on - Counterfactual historical claim… o Others would more or less done what the West did  Japan  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 sta
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