6 February 2013
“One of her great purposes in writing Patterns of Culture was to point out the extraordinary diversity among cultures and, specifically, to show that individuals are products of their culture just as their culture is the product of individuals” (Benedict 302). Ruth Benedict’s “The Individual and the Pattern of Culture” is an essay in which she talks about an individual and their relationship with their society. She also explores differences between societies and cultures that are located in diverse regions. Benedict’s main ideas in this essay are cultural relativism, and the antagonistic relationship between societies.
Cultural relativism is a theory that states that the morals of a person is based on the society in which the individual is part of. The society that you are part of has an effect on how you do or see certain things. For example, someone from the city is more cautious than someone who may be from a more rural area.
The antagonistic relationship between two different societies is the hostility that one society could have for another society based on the fact that they are unlike each other. Two societies that are located in two different places often have different things that are normal in their society. For example, people in Los Angeles, California don’t really have the norm of having to deal with snow, as the people in Colorado do. In conclusion, Ruth Benedict’s essay “The Individual and the Pattern of Culture” gives her viewpoint on the way that she thinks society works.
Benedict, Ruth. "The Individual and the Pattern of Culture." A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. 8th ed. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. 301-324. Print.