College of Liberal Arts
Communication Studies Department
BA in Communication Studies
Megan M. Lambertz-Berndt
This paper analyzes theories correlated with Human Rights and Intercultural Communication. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) entails thirty basic human rights that are intended to held by every living human. Universalist scholars believe that these are inalienable, regardless of certain cultural values that differ from societies around the world. Relativist scholars believe that there needs to be a respect for cultural practices, even if they are harmful to other people. A case study is performed to illustrate the positive and negatives to both theories. Ethnocentrism is then introduced, which is when people judge cultures and practices that are different than their own, and hold beliefs that their own culture is superior to others. Another case study shows how ethnocentrism can be dangerous. Finally, the dialogical approach is introduced in order to show why this is the best alternative to the Universalism vs Relativism debate, and how it can help ensure justice for cultures near and far.