Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Ethnocentrism - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Before 1971, however, when the term gained popular use, it went by some other less grating names. Ethnic means “cultural heritage” while centrism refers to the…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.5% of users find it useful
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Ethnocentrism"

Ethnocentrism: Stumbling Block to World Peace Ethnocentrism has since the dawn of history posed the single biggest threat to world unity, peace and progress. Before 1971, however, when the term gained popular use, it went by some other less grating names. Ethnic means “cultural heritage” while centrism refers to the “central starting point.” In that sense, ethnocentrism may be defined as a people’s excessive amount of cultural pride, a mindset that clouds their understanding of other cultures and thus leads to a tendency to look down on other groups as inferior. An ethnocentric, anthropologists agree, likes to make premature judgments about other cultures and consequently brings false assumptions into his dealings with other cultural groups. In international relations, as a result, innumerable conflicts have broken out in the name of ethnocentrism. Constructive resolution of such conflicts between social groups have proven intractable in most cases because of one group’s lack of understanding of the other’s cultural uniqueness.
One of the earlier names of ethnocentrism is colonialism, in which one culture sought to “civilize” and “develop” another. As was often the case, the social group placed under the gun of colonialism had its own concept of “civilization” and “development” which was quite different. Conflicts inevitably occurred. “When people are denied the legitimacy of their own life goal,” notes anthropologist Ken Barger, “they turn to radical means outside accepted practice.” Thus, we witnessed the bloody revolutions in colonized nations against colonizers that eventually led to global de-colonization starting in the 1950s, to coincide with the growth and acceptance of the United Nations.
Colonialism is actually one of the three extreme forms of ethnocentrism, the other two being racism and ethnic cleansing. The latter gave rise to the most notorious ethnocentric of all time, Hitler, who sought to annihilate the Jews in favor of the “pure’ Aryan race and in the process triggered World War I. The belief that any culture represents the pinnacle of human achievement, which certainly possessed Hitler, is cultural arrogance of the worst form, a gross misreading of history and anthropology.

Evidence of the evils wrought by ethnocentrism is all over the globe in modern times. On top of this is the mutual ethnocentric attitude between the Islamic world and the capitalist societies represented by the United States which now more than ever threatens to divide the planet. The Islamic societies see capitalism as a flawed, decadent system, while the latter looks at the former as warmongers. For this reason, we witness the Al Qaeda terrorist campaign directed mostly at the United States and its perceived satellites. In the same manner, the US goes about its own ethnocentric ways by intervening in the affairs of Islamic countries and imposing what the Americans perceive to be the best.

The ugly face of ethnocentrism is also seen in the editorial cartoon ran sometime ago in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten which showed the Prophet Muhammad in a bomb-shaped Muslim turban which, when reprinted in some European papers, triggered Muslim riots in many places all over the world.
We see more of it in the decades-old conflict in Mindanao in southern Philippines where the Muslim-dominated populace wants nothing less than secession to establish a government separate from the mostly Christian population of the capital, Manila. The Manila government, on the other hand, has remained unflinching in its position that the region is too weak and impoverished for self-government. Up to now the Organization of Islamic Countries has its hands full trying to resolve the problem which has assumed geopolitical proportions. In pluralistic societies, ethnocentricity can be destructive to patriotism and good citizenship, leading to exaggerated demands for cultural and political autonomy.

We also see ethnocentrism in the diplomatic brouhaha occasioned by such little incidents as the caning in Singapore of foreign nationals caught violating anti-littering ordinances, the punishment of cutting off the fingers of petty thieves in Saudi Arabia. To avoid the conflicts resulting from such incidents, people need to catch themselves and control their bias, endeavoring to develop better understanding of others. “We must know one another and try to live with that knowledge,” H. Culbertson suggests.
That this can be done is shown by people who have moved to other societies and learned to become functional in their new settings. In the US, for example, boatloads of Vietnamese refugees arrive on the West Coast without any prior exposure to American culture or any knowledge of the English language, but seven years later or less, they begin to speak the language fluently, run prosperous business and have their children scoring near the top in American schools.
Reference List:
Barger, K. Ethnocentrism. 2004. Department of Anthropology IUPUI Indianapolis, Indiana 46202. Available from: Http:// [accessed 7 March 2006]
Culbertson, H. Why is ethnocentrism bad? Copyright 2000, 2001. Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th Bethany, OK 73008. Available from: Http:// [accessed 7 March 2006]
Hammond, R. The Evolution of Ethnocentrism based on Tags and Localism. The Brooking Institution. 9 December 2004. Available from: Http:// [accessed 7 March 2006]
Ray, J. Ethnocentrism – Attitudes and Behavior. The Australian Quarterly Volume 43, No. 2, pp.89-97. June 1971. Available from: Http:// [accessed 7 March 2006]
Union of International Associations. Cultural Arrogance. World Problems – Issues Online. 1907-2006. Available from: Http:// [accessed 7 March 2006]
Windschuttle, K. The Ethnocentrism of Clifford Geertz. The New Criterion Vol. 21, No.2. October 2002. Available from: Http:// [accessed 7 March 2006] Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Ethnocentrism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words - 1”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Ethnocentrism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1)
“Ethnocentrism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document



...that associate with one another on the basis of level of education, technology, family or social status, etc, and belief only in their values and strength as they despise others. Nevertheless, Ethnocentrism is still witnessed in some parts of the United States and world over due to the strong social ties that hare found within the ethnocentric groups (Axelrod & Hammond, 2003). References Axelrod, R & Hammond, R. A. (2003).The Evolution of Ethnocentric Behavior .Accessed on 13th March 2011 from Nowak, Martin A., and K. Sigmund. 1998. “Evolution of indirect reciprocity by image scoring.” Nature 393:573-577. Read, Dwight W. 2002....
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

The Concept of Ethnocentrism

... Ethnocentrism refers to a situation where a person perceives events from the world largely from his or her own culture. In ethnocentrism, people will give their opinion of other individuals in connection to their own specified culture or group, frequently with concern to religion, behavior, customs, and language. An ethnocentric individual presumes his own civilization’s manner of resolving issues is the proper way and all other ways are inappropriate. In addition, egocentrism holds that a group’s own manners is advanced to other group’s or perceiving other people as mediocre to one’s own. Individuals who make fictitious presumptions about other people’s manners on the basis of their own inadequate understanding are also assumed...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment

Discussion of ethnocentrism

...of ethnocentrism. If fuels hatred and isolate other people in the process of assertion of another to become superior. In the US, the discrimination against the Blacks and other minority groups is borne of ethnocentrism’s sense of white superiority over people with colored skin. Ethnocentrism which spawns prejudice thrives on a bigoted and limited perspective. Education is a good antidote to combat this problem because it allows ethnocentric people to see that other people are also human beings which feels and thinks just like them. Exposure to other type of people will also help to widen perspective and end bigoted perspective. It will also make them realize that a...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Debate: Ethnocentrism

... which all other groups are judged. Ethnocentrism often entails the belief that ones own race or ethnic group is the most important and/or that some or all aspects of its culture are superior to those of the other groups. Within this ideology, individuals will judge other groups in relation to their own particular ethnic group or culture, especially in the context of language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and sub-divisions serve to define each ethnicitys unique cultural identity. This is something that has crossed my mind many a times but I never really bothered to give it any serious thought may be because I never thought that I can ever make a difference in it. Or may be I am myself guilty of being a party...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Consumer Ethnocentrism summarize the gist of the six articles by eminent social scientists, dealing with this very issue and are included in the bibliography. Consumer ethnocentrism is defined as a tendency of the natives to prefer their own goods and services, motivated by strong patriotism and fear of economic pitfalls in adopting foreign made goods and services. Though coined in 1906 by Sumner, it became much popular when Shimp, a social scientist and professor in University of Carolina, undertook extensive studies to observe consumer behaviour in this regard. His results startled many because though it showed overwhelming inclination towards consumer ethnocentrism but the class and education pattern did have significant...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Internation Marketing: The Involvement of Ethnocentrism in the International Marketing Scenario

... and especially in international marketing although it has not been incorporated in previously formulated theories. From the facts discussed above, it is noted that marketing managers and market researchers often fail to take into consideration ethnocentrism in their conceptual frameworks, practice and when developing theories. This has often resulted in problems especially during the implementation of these frameworks and theories. The following sections are dedicated to describing market theory, ethnocentrism and seeks to critically assess the involvement of ethnocentrism in the international marketing scenario. Standardization and Differentiation To a great extent the adaptation/standardization dilemma depends on the organization’s...
9 Pages(2250 words)Term Paper

The Danger of Ethnocentrism

...was to kill inferior races. The genocide in Rwanda committed by the Hutus against the Tutsis is another extreme example of ethnocentrism. Slavery was a form of ethnocentrism. Today examples of ethnocentrism are white supremacist and radical Islam. These groups are at war with all other cultures. In order to protect their superior culture, ethnocentrism believers fight all other groups. The dangers of ethnocentrism are the reasons for social integration. Due to modern technology, war, and population growth, the world is shrinking. Large chunks of one culture or people are becoming less common. Unless living in an isolated location, where one...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment

Ethnocentrism, Racism and Health Care

... and wrong are present despite multiculturalism. Examples of Ethnocentrism When European explorers established their colonies in the New World of America, their assumption that the Native Americans would benefit from adopting European cultural characteristics is a historical example of ethnocentrism. A more contemporary example is the tendency to judge other cultures by the availability and use of consumer goods prized by one’s society, instead of considering the extent to which they follow their own values (Kornblum 2011). Although ethnocentrism promotes group solidarity and a sense of group superiority, it also discourages intercultural understanding. For example nationalism is a form of highly exclusionary ethnocentrism...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Consumer Ethnocentrism and Buying Intentions”). The idea of globalization represents significant challenges and opportunities especially for the marketers and the consumers. The various modernizations particularly in the trade policies have offered more foreign product options towards the consumers’. In this connection, one of the factors that may affect upon the decision of the consumer in order to buy domestic product that is own country’s product or foreign products is consumer ‘ethnocentrism’ (Ranjbarian & Et. Al., “Consumer Ethnocentrism and Buying Intentions: An Empirical Analysis of Iranian Consumers”). Consumer ‘ethnocentrism’ signifies the universal liking for the people in order to realize their own group as the centre of the world and is defined also as an...
9 Pages(2250 words)Term Paper

Ethnocentrism within the United States

...contrasts with the American way that allows women to dress as they like. While Americans feel the other way of dressing is strange, the other group feels the American way is provocative (, 2010). For a multicultural society in American, ethnocentrism is a great hindrance. It makes those feeling superior to think their way of things is always right and not giving other room to have their say. This makes the minority have a hard time trying to embrace a multicultural identity especially among immigrants. Work Cited Ankerl, G. (2000). Coexisting Contemporary Civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU PRESS. Krayer P. (2013). The problem of ethnocentrism....
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Important Thoughts about Ethnocentrism

... believe, I would not handle it in that manner should it have happened after studying on ethnocentrism. For instance, before coming up with my own conclusion, I would first try and identify the reason as to why the couple was using chopsticks (Barger). Apart from asking a person as to why they are using chopsticks, I would also opt to go ahead and ask the couple in person. By asking the couple in person, I will be in a position to understand the reason as to why they still embrace the culture, hence control my attitude towards them. Work Cited Barger, Ken. “Ethnocentrism.” Indiana University. 2008. Web. 13 July 2014. <>... Ethnocentrism According to studies, everybody normally...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Comprehensive overview of the concept of ethnocentrism

... countries, that it is inseparable part of their cultural life, and martial arts fans all over the world. The exceptional part of the movie from the ethnocentrism point of view is the performance of Anthony Wong, his actions and body movement reveal his total amalgamation with his culture, and it is something which needs to be viewed in the movie. It is difficult to capture that spirit through the printed words. He has kept the everlasting cultural identity of the martial arts in tact by giving the message that how it is inseparable from the life of his race/ethnicity. IP Man-The Final Fight, may be the ‘final fight’, but it is definitely not the final movie on the Hong Kong genre of movies. The old-world charm of Hong Kong movies...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

The Concept of Ethnocentrism

... nations. This has been evidenced by the country's dabbling in the matters of other nations without much regard to the right formality that should be followed. A good illustration of this dabbling is the country's current involvement in affairs of MiddleEast, which is mainly castigated by the perceived belief that it is a super power.This has led to the country spending a lot on affairs of other countries, which are not necessarily in its control, rather than focusing on funding development in needy developing countries. Cultural ethnocentrism continues to prevail in majority of the African communities where the communities believe that there cultures are better than the rest and they in particular tend to be unreceptive to the western...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Ethnocentrism, Geocentrism and Polycentrism

...Ethnocentrism, Geocentrism and Polycentrism Introduction Is it ethical for the people to clear forests in order to expand farmlands and enhance food production? It would not be a mistake to suggest that human technology has advanced so much that people are able to introduce various changes into the environment in order to achieve certain goals. At the present moment the nagging question that the humanity is facing is food crisis. The latter was not brought up by shortage of food; quite the opposite: it was caused by the increased number of people on the planet. Indeed, nowadays there are more people living in the world than in any other historical period and they all need to consume food. I will argue that people should clear forests...
7 Pages(1750 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Ethnocentrism for FREE!

Contact Us