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The cultural rights movement has provoked attention to protect the rights of groups of people, or their culture, in similar fashion to the manner in which the human rights movement has brought attention to the needs of individuals throughout the world. Cultural rights are different from human rights specifically because they are vested in groups of people, whereas human rights deal with individuals.

Protecting a culture

Cultural rights focus on groups such as religious and ethnic minorities and indigenous societies that are in danger of disappearing. Cultural rights include a group’s ability to preserve its way of life, such as child rearing, continuation of language, and security of its economic base in the nation, which it is located. The related notion of indigenous intellectual property rights (IPR) has arisen in attempt to conserve each society’s culture base and essentially prevent ethnocide.

The cultural rights movement has been popularized because much traditional cultural knowledge has commercial value, like ethno-medicine, cosmetics, cultivated plants, foods, folklore, arts, crafts, songs, dances, costumes, and rituals. Studying ancient cultures may reveal evidence about the history of the human race and shed more light on our origin and successive cultural development. However, the study, sharing and commercialization of such cultural aspects can be hard to achieve without infringing upon the cultural rights of those who are a part of that culture.

Cultural Bigotry

The notion of cultural rights is not too cultural.Cultural rights has many ways that it can be looked upon. "Cultural rights are vested not in individuals but in groups, such as religious and ethnic minorities and indigenous societies." All cultures are brought up differently, therefore cultural rights include a group's ability to preserve its culture, to raise its children in the ways its forebears, to continue its language, and to not be deprived of its economic base by the nation in which it is located." Anthropologist sometimes choose not to study some cultures beliefs and rights, because they believe that it may cause misbehavior, and they choose not to turn against different diversities of cultures. Although anthropologist sometimes do turn away from studying different cultures they still depend a lot on what they study at different archaeological sites.


  • Phillip, Conrad. (2005). Window on Humanity. New York: McGraw-Hill
  • Kottak,Conrad. Window On Humanity

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