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29 Jan 2012
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Relativsm challenges ethnocentrism: by showing that other cultures do make sense in their own terms, by challenging and undermining claims to cultural superiority. Example: turkish villages using agricultural metaphors for sex - in a patrilineal society, premarital sex is a big issue. Relativism does not mean we accept these views, but does cause us to take pause. sperm portrayed as the conquering hero that penetrates the female, while the egg is the conquered maiden that is saved by being penetrated by the sperm. 4th example of cultural difference: decision of circumcision. Janice fhody written about female circumscision among people of the sudan. *understanding is different than condoning: she has come under attack for trying to understand. Fgm is closely linked with male circumcision, and is tied to life-cycle processes: fgm is supposed to signify a coming of age. She also found that it is a comprehensible practice, and is not meant for torture.

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