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Is there another word for "Anthropomorphize" that could be used against another person. For instance, in the West the vast majority are familiar with 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

However this is far from universal. If I was discussing meals with someone from an Amazonian tribe, I would maybe want to avoid asking about breakfast, lunch and dinner since they may not follow such a system.

But to say that I was "anthropomorphizing" would be offensive and rightly so. That would be saying that I was treating a non-human as a human which isn't true.

Is there a human to human equivalent meaning I am avoiding my own cultural bias when describing the practices of another human?

Many thanks.

I hope this post doesn't come across as offensive, I am really trying to avoid it.

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    @Tuffy I disagree they are using it exactly right "But to say that I was avoiding " 'anthropomorphizing' would be offensive and rightly so. That would be saying that I was treating a non-human as a human which isn't true.". I think I corrected this line to make it say what the OP meant
    – WendyG
    Nov 6, 2018 at 13:52
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    @Tuffy, the OP is using the word anthropomorphise correctly.
    – WendyG
    Nov 6, 2018 at 14:02
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    I am sorry, but I cannot see the question means by 'anthropomorphise' in this context. How would asking people from remote non-industrialised tribes about 'breakfast', 'lunch' and dinner involve anybody anthropomorphising anyone? They are as anthropoid as the rest of humanity, whether or not they sleep in modern beds, use syphon lavatories or eat fast food from plastic.
    – Tuffy
    Nov 6, 2018 at 15:27
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    @WendyG I don't understand when it's said that the OP is using "anthropomorphise" correctly. "Anthropomorphise" is attributing human qualities or characteristics to non-human things, either living or non-living. What the OP seems to be talking about is attributing to another ethnicity the characteristics of one's own ethnicity. Have I misread something?
    – Zebrafish
    Nov 6, 2018 at 15:28
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    @Zebrafish exactly you are correct, which is why the OP says they CAN'T use "Anthropomorphise". But they use it to show the kind of word they want, the way they want the word suggestion to work.
    – WendyG
    Nov 6, 2018 at 17:13

3 Answers 3

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That would be generalizing (actually a hypernym which can be used in a broader range of situations).

If I was discussing meals with someone from an Amazonian tribe, I would maybe want to avoid generalizing [asking about breakfast, lunch and dinner since they may not follow such a system].

ODO:

generalize (British generalise)
VERB
1 [no object] Make a general or broad statement by inferring from specific cases.

‘What is unacceptable, to say the least, is to generalize about the uses and customs of nearly half a billion people who cover close to one sixth of the Earth's surface.’

‘Eating habits in Germany vary by social class and milieu, but it is possible to generalize about the behavior of the inclusive middle class, which has emerged in the prosperous postwar era.’

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You want to avoid being ethnocentric.

believing that the people, customs, and traditions of your own race or nationality are better than those of other races

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ethnocentric

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When speaking about trying to translate the Bible into language and concepts accessible to isolated ethnic groups (so 'white as the pure driven snow' could be rendered 'white as the milk from the tender coconut' for those still unaware of snow), one Bible scholar (the late Tony Ling) used the term contextualisation. This is a stipulative definition, though, and other readings might confuse.

Another term with a relevant stipulative definition is:

... 6) Adaptation

Adaptation means the modification of the idea in the source language (SL) so as to find an acceptable one in the target language (TL). It is necessary when something specific to one language culture is expressed in a totally different way that is familiar or appropriate to another language culture. It is a shift in cultural environment.

In other words, adaptation is a kind of rewriting of the ST to make it conform to the rules of the language and especially the culture of the TL community. It is considered as the freest form of translation and is used mainly for plays (comedies) and poetry; the themes, characters and plots are usually preserved, the SL culture is converted to the TL culture and the text is rewritten.

[Damanhour University]

Again, care usually needs to be taken to make it plain which non-default sense is in play.

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