Understanding ethnocentrism

Intercultural competence

This term comes from Greek root ethnos, meaning a people or group. Encountering ethnocentrism, then, can be an opportunity. We falsely distort what is meaningful and functional to other peoples through our own tinted glasses. We do not understand that their ways have their own meanings and functions in life, just as our ways have for us.

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Why is ethnocentrism bad?

During the adaptation phase, people begin to view cultural differences as a valuable resource. Therefore other people, to the extent that they live differently live by standards that the inhuman, irrigational, unnatural, or wrong.

We cannot not be ethnocentric, and we cannot will it away or make ourselves have a completely open attitude. Women, for example, are considered more beautiful in some parts of the world if they are slender, while in other societies women with broader and fleshier figures are considered to be more attractive.

In this process, we do not know, and that is why we are seeking to develop better understandings.

What Are Examples of Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism?

For example, the character and behavior of "witches" defines norms of socially unacceptable and disruptive deviancy, and in contrast also defines "good" behavioral standards for the group. Poor results have often been obtained due Understanding ethnocentrism a lack of rigorous study of 3C and a reliance on " common sense " approaches.

How can we consciously become aware of something that is happening subconsciously? When others consider us as "technologically skilled" or "selfish," what does this say about us that we may never have realized? The most effective resolutions are those that negotiate the common areas which allow each party validation of their own ways, where the solution is desired by each party, and, of course, where each party is really able to make a contribution.

When interacting with people from other cultures, the individual experiences certain obstacles that are caused by differences in cultural understanding between two people from different cultures.

Cultural relativism is considered to be more constructive and positive conception as compared to ethnocentrism. In this stage, people accept that their identity is not based in any single culture. In the article it stated, "Segmented assimilation theorists argue that students from less affluent and racial and ethnic minority immigrant families face a number of educational hurdles and barriers that often stem from racial, ethnic, and gender biases and discrimination embedded within the U.

Cross-cultural encounters revealing more about our own perspectives, values, and emotional investments than about others, and so provide us unique opportunities to learn more about ourselves.William Graham Sumner coined the term ethnocentrism in ; today many sociologists identify ethnocentrism as a feature of all cultures.

10 Examples of Ethnocentrism to Help You Understand it Better

Some social scientists argue that ethnocentrism can lead to a biased understanding of other cultures. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own patterns of behavior are the best: the most natural, beautiful, right or important.

Therefore other people, to the extent that they live differently live by standards that the inhuman, irrigational, unnatural, or wrong. Though we may choose to vehemently deny it, all of us are ethnocentric in some way or the other, with the marked exception of a few people.

Module 7: Cultural Differences and Cultural Understanding

In case you're wondering what the concept of ethnocentrism exactly is, this OpinionFront article gives you an explanation as well as some examples to help you understand it better. In addition to all of the factors that contribute to our understanding of a culture, it is important to also be aware of our own ethnocentrism and prejudice.

Ethnocentrism, simply defined, is the tendency of an individual to put their ethnic, and or race and culture, at the forefront or center of their thoughts.

This notion falls in deep and sharp contrast to cultural relativism which focuses on the better and unbiased understanding of other cultures and the related values.

Cultural relativism is considered to be more constructive and. Ethnocentrism is the act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in values and standards of one's own culture.

[1] [2] Ethnocentric behavior involves judging other groups relative to the preconceptions of one's own ethnic group or culture, especially regarding language, behavior, customs, and religion.

Understanding ethnocentrism
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