Toward Natural-cultural Relativism


Contributed date

June 23, 2018 - 7:13am

Critical Commentary

Toward Natural-cultural Relativism : Considering the Future of Globalization from the Standpoint of the Inuit Indigenous Movement (<Special Theme> Beyond "Globalization")
Author: Keiichi OMURA
Keywords: Canadian Inuit, state-market-technoscience network, hybrid monster, subsistence, autopoiesis, natural-cultural relativism
Abtract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the history and present conditions of 'globalization' from the viewpoint of the Inuit, the indigenous people living in Canadian Arctic, in order to reveal the characteristics of that historical phenomenon and consider what anthropologists should do to solve the problems raised by it. For that purpose, I will firstly elucidate the present conditions of 'globalization,' which the Inuit are confronting and struggling against today, based on the analysis of 'modernity' by Bruno LATOUR. I will then place the Inuit indigenous movement within the history and present conditions of 'globalization' in order to elucidate what it is the Inuit are protecting against the problems raised by this historical phenomenon. Furthermore, based on that consideration, I will reveal that the root cause of the problems raised by 'globalization' is the conflict between two different systems, in which human and matter are organized and woven into a network overarching the domain of 'culture' and 'nature.' After that, I will show that what we anthropologists are required to do in order to overcome the problems raised by 'globalization' is to establish a worldview based on 'natural-cultural relativism,' which aims to realize the coexistence of the natural-cultural complexes, in place of the worldview based on 'cultural relativism,' which aims to realize the coexistence of cultures on the assumption that 'nature' is universally the only one basis for cultural diversity. Finally, I will discuss the role of anthropologists in establishing the worldview based on 'natural-cultural relativism.'



Cite as

Anonymous, "Toward Natural-cultural Relativism", contributed by Yoko Taguchi, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 12 August 2018, accessed 23 July 2024.