Cultural Studies

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For this discussion, you will review some terminology related to diversity and cross-cultural relations, and then you will demonstrate your understanding of these terms as they relate to a practice that most in the United States would agree is unpalatable.
Review the following resources:
Wong, E.F. (2015). Racial/ethnic relations: Theoretical overview. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Available at:
Here are some other terms that are often included in discussions about diversity:
Cultural pluralism is the recognition that society consists of many diverse groups that have unique cultural identities and practices that continue to exist within a larger, more dominant society.
Multicultural societies consist of many diverse groups, none of which are socially dominant.
Cultural relativism is the idea that an individual’s behavior and beliefs can only be understood in terms of that individual’s culture.
Lower, M. (2013). Can and should human rights be universal? Retrieved by:
Mitchum, P.D. (2013). Slapping the hand of cultural relativism: Female Genital Mutilation. William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 19(3), Article 4. Retrieved from:
World Health Organization (2012). Female genital mutilation. Retrieved from:
Esem, N. (2016). How can young people end PGM in Nigeria? Retrieved from:
Esikot, I.F. (2012). Globalization versus relativism: The imperative of a universal ethics. Journal of Politics and Law, 5(4), 129-135. Retrieved from:
For this discussion, respond to the following questions:
What is the cultural basis for female genital mutilation (FGM)?
What would a “cultural relativist” say regarding the acceptability of FGM?
How can we reconcile cultural relativism with the need for human rights?
What role does globalization play in changing cultural practices?



Cultural Basis for Female genital mutilation (FGM)

As Eseme (2016) notes, among other things, FGM is done for cultural reasons. The cultural basis for FGM is the belief that the act makes a girl to conform to key social norms notably maturity, respectability, feminity and sexual restraint (World Health Organization, 2012). Mitchum (2013) reports that a parent who allows her daughter to avoid this culturally recognized tradition risks to have her embarrassed, humiliated and alienated.


Cultural Relativist Support for FGM

Therefore, a cultural relativist would argue for FGM practices on the grounds that it is one of the highly valued practice and a social norm in his community or society (World Health Organization, 2012). He would further stress that it is a rite of passage for a young lady from girlhood to womanhood. He would also support his claims that, avoiding the cut would make a girl suffer long-term cultural consequences (Mitchum, 2013).

Reconciling Cultural Relativism and Human Rights

As World Health Organization (2012) notes, cultural relativism and the need for human rights can best be reconciled by working with cultural and community practices and beliefs as opposed to working against them. Having a close relationship and dialogue with the community will help in reinforcing positive cultural values and exploring alternative practices to signify a young lady’s adulthood without involving a cut.

Globalization and Cultural Practices

Through globalization, the contemporary world is a one small village whose social, economic and political reality is a manifestation of the challenges and problems defiling localization as well as cultural bond. Globalization assimilates cultures leading to a cosmopolitan culture (Idorenyin, 2012). The integration of cultural practices across the world has altered the norms of social interactions. As Idorenyin (2012) notes, globalization has presented several cultures that affect each other, thereby challenging the validity of cultural relativism. Globalization has also led to the need for universal ethics, which in turn has led to the call for moral progression, reformation and transformation. Therefore, local and cultural practices that are globally viewed to be unpalatable are decimated.


Eseme, N. (2016, March 10). How can young people end FGM in Nigeria? Retrieved from Women Deliver.Org:

Idorenyin, F. E. (2012). Globalization versus relativism: The imperative of a universal ethics. Journal of Politics and Law, Vol. 5 (4), 129-135.

Mitchum, P. (2013). Slapping the hand of cultural relativism: Female genital mutilation. Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 19(3), Article 4, 585-608.

World Health Organization. (2012). Understanding and addressing violence against women. Retrieved from World Health Organization: Retrieved from:

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