Debate: Requiem for Relativism in Anthropology

Journal of Critical Realism 10 (3):358-391 (2011)
Cultural relativism was the subject of a panel presentation at the 2005 meetings of the American Anthropological Association. In 2007, three of the four presentations were published in Anthropological Quarterly. The present article comprises what was presented in the fourth panel presentation, my own, plus a critical realist critique of the other three papers and the discussant’s introduction of them. The critical realist method of immanent critique, applied here, reveals the gaps, contradictions and non-sequiturs of cultural relativism, and suggests that the critical realist meta-philosophy of philosopher Roy Bhaskar, sociologist Margaret Archer, and others offers anthropologists a stronger theoretical paradigm from which to operate
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