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Cultural Relativism In Avatar

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The anthropological definition of cultural relativism is that people studying cultures let go of their “esthetic and moral judgments” when they are studying other cultures. It is the idea that anthropologists should build an understanding of another culture allowing it to develop as freely as any other culture in their mind. It is the practice of staying entirely non-judgmental and not allowing personal thoughts and apprehensions to come in the way of understanding another culture. It involves developing the understanding about another culture with an unassuming observance and keeping an open mind to whatever comes across without developing any bias or being judgmental about it.
Anthropologists use cultural relativism when on the field by leaving all of their biases and preconceived notions when they study other cultures. They try to ‘forget’ any prior knowledge that they have about the
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Specifically, he keeps his own culture separate throughout his interaction with the Neytiri and learns the culture of the avatars without comparing it with his own culture. In the scene where Neytiri introduces the Trees of Souls to Jake, he keeps aside his own thoughts and only hears Neytiri speak about her culture and her beliefs. This is one of the examples in the movie where cultural relativism was evident. There were other times when the supporting characters also exhibited the same trait. It is difficult to maintain an outlook of cultural relativism without falling prey to the common pitfalls of judgment. For instance, the commander is shown to be quite indifferent and smirks at the culture of the Na’vi. His approach is one which is full of judgment towards their culture and lacks the cultural relativism to assess the Na’vi’s culture. Instead, he forms his own opinion about them and acts on his own judgment without considering to learn about them at

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