Reflection On Objectivity And Morality

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Though it was not a typical topic of conversation during my childhood, I always understand objectivity and morality as two extremes. Objectivity can be defined as the ability to see and accept things the way they are without any confliction of one’s personal fears, mental models, and past experiences. Morality however, is the opposite, it can be described as the more bias approach where someone’s personal beliefs determine what is right versus what is wrong. With this brief understanding, I was always able to determine what is right versus what is wrong however without any sort of sheltering from the world around me. For this reason, I believe I have been open to the diversity of the world and the various cultures and practices surrounding me without the idea of it being unorthodox.

Throughout this portion of the textbook, Scheper-Hughes presents the crossroads which every anthropologist comes to face, questioning if they should stay morally distant from the groups they are studying or should they connect with them on a more personal degree. Essentially this section engages the reader by questioning the approach anthropologists take while studying a cultures practices when it questions their morals.

From this reading and my personal opinion, I believe that anthropologists have to concur the difficulty of maintaining the distance of their morals while dealing with a case while still knowing the appropriate time to incorporate it. By doing so the anthropologist is professionally gathering information necessary for the particular case they are working on without their personal opinions clouding the reality of it. For example, looking at the case of the Wari people, there is a clear difference in opinions and cultures. The Wari people choose to eat there dead as a form of dealing with the painful memories and sadness that has been struck on them. An anthropologist looking into this case may find this utterly disgusting without realizing that those same feelings may be reciprocated by the Wari peoples. Because of this the anthropologist is left with a difficult yet necessary task, separating his or her bias opinions from their execution of a case. What specifically draws my attention in this chapter is the importance of an anthropologist’s job.

It is crucial that in order to project the right and correct message, one must be able to look beyond the everyday appearance and norms in a particular culture and society and accept new norms. Though I have always been open to the amble amount of cultures in the world, this passage changed my thought process regarding what ‘normal’ is. Just because one thing is normal to me, doesn’t mean that it is normal to another person.

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