I would not be delving into the specifics of the phenomenon, but here I try to reference the criticism of cultural relativism on social media from across the world. Yes, the college students in America, Canada, and European countries!
Here are some examples from twitter data: That last reference about ‘sophmoric’ interest is rather revealing. The orange bars point out to the spikes in google search for cultural relativism.
It is important to remember that the left-leaning political movements and their philosophical influence was felt far and wide in the 1980s.
Cultural relativism gained much wider acceptance in the 1980s with the rise of postmodern theories.
Though people tend to use the term in many different ways, sometimes leaning towards postmodern ideas and others towards cultural relativism; some just using it unaware of its meaning.
But what is important is its association with left leaning political thought and the identity politics.
I would encourage you to read a A History of Anthropological Theory if you are interested in this history. Boas’ historically specific experience vs Evans-Pritchard’s logic of magic and ritual amongst the Azande.
Fast forward to 1980s, and we witness a sudden revival of interest in cultural relativism - relativism in general.
It neatly overlaps with the schedule of universities in the US, UK, Canada, and some of them in Europe. Please remember that Google Trends is scaled for the population effect.
Though the term has a wider usage on social media, but this Google Trends analytics reveals that it might still be mostly a college phenomenon, or alteast that is where they really try to understand it.