von Franz Krause
The excellent contributions to this blog have demonstrated beyond doubt how relevant and indeed necessary cultural relativism is, not only for contemporary anthropological research, but also for countering recent xenophobic, racist and populist trends in European politics and practices. I see the preceding posts as a great resource with potentials for undergraduate teaching and non-specialist engagement, and I have – quite frankly – little of substance to add to them.
All I can do is point to some implications of cultural relativism for another key, and often contested, tool in anthropological research: comparison. Quite frequently, the two are seen as polar opposites in our academic endeavours: either we retain cultural relativism, explaining observed phenomena solely by reference to their particular context, or we compare these phenomena, using universalist, or at least supra-contextual, standards.