“It’s the way things are done,” “It is what it is,” “When in Rome …” are three phrases that can be related to a habit, a compulsion, and in some cases, a way of life. It’s “normal” to do things in a certain way as it’s been done that way for years. Something as simple as what one eats for breakfast in one country is very different in another. Women are still considered second class citizens in Saudi Arabia and female genital mutilation is still going strong in some cultures, where it would be wrong in others. It’s all relative; it corresponds to your culture, and what they consider right and wrong. This essay will discuss cultural relativism, ethics, and mordidas, or bribery, in Mexico, and how it the norm in one country, but not in another.
Culture can be defined as “the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics shared by groups of people” (“Cultural Relativism, n.d.). Relativism, simply put, is “nothing is intrinsically right or wrong” (“Absolutism and Relativism,” n.d.).
Cultural relativism is a theory relating to the morality concept of right and wrong within each society, not to the world as a whole. Ethics is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, etc., how it relates to human behaviour, how we should act in the process, and deemed universal. Cultural relativism diverges from this “traditional” way of thinking, of just and unjust, in that morals, ethics, or values, are not the same for everyone; it is dependent on where