Dobuan and Kwakiutl Cultures and Moral Relativism Term Paper by scribbler

Dobuan and Kwakiutl Cultures and Moral Relativism
A discussion on the Dobuan and Kwakiutl cultures and Ruth Benedict's view on moral relativism in her work "Patterns of Culture" .
# 152907 | 1,434 words | 1 source | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 30, 2013 in Ethnic Studies (North American) , Literature (American) , Sociology (General)

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The paper relates that Ruth Benedict's studies on moral relativism produced intriguing information regarding cultures, how they behave, and how customs are essential in determining an individual's perception of right and wrong. The paper looks at her book "Patterns of Culture", where Benedict describes the lifestyle and culture of Dobu Islanders and Kwakiutls and their moral standards that are different to Western standards. The paper notes that the main point stressed by Benedict is that morals are not the same for every culture and one cannot assume all people have the same outlook on notions like right and wrong.

From the Paper:

"Not only were Dobu Islanders considered by white people to be abnormally savage for the territories they inhabited, but they were also harshly criticized by the tribes neighboring them, which were to some extent equally unsophisticated. In point of fact, during the early twentieth century white people recognized Dobu Islanders primarily for their poverty and because they were willing to work for low wages. In contrast to white people, the communities neighboring the Dobuans feared them because of their extreme way of living, which sometimes involved performing acts of cannibalism (Benedict 131).
""The Dobuans amply deserve the character they are given by their neighbors. They are lawless and treacherous" (Benedict 131). Surely, this is most people would think when seeing things from what they perceive as being a general point of view, one that strictly distinguishes between concepts like right and wrong. Benedict however goes on to relate to moral relativism and to how the general public is wrong in believing that they can be impartial in defining principles relating to right and wrong. These two concepts are actually very subjective, since almost every culture perceives them differently."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Benedict, Ruth. (2005). "Patterns of culture". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Dobuan and Kwakiutl Cultures and Moral Relativism (2013, April 30) Retrieved November 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Dobuan and Kwakiutl Cultures and Moral Relativism" 30 April 2013. Web. 29 November. 2020. <>