Are you ethnocentric? Do you make assumptions or assessments about other cultures? In order to answer that question you must know what ethnocentrism is. Ethnocentrism is the practice of assessing another culture by the values of one’s own culture and believing that your ethnicity is exceptional to others. Everyone is ethnocentric because we all in some way judge others and believe that our views of others is focused on our own way of life. Ethnocentrism keeps us from understanding other cultures and differences and even understanding our own culture.
Our diverse beliefs and the way we view others can have unfavorable results on the way others have been treated not just in our society but in other societies where we live. The best way to understand ethnocentrism is the effect of prejudice, discrimination and ethnic violence.
Ethnocentrism is a personal response that is found in all people and groups in all cultures. It is a behavior learned while growing up that becomes a fact of life when you become an adult. When a person develops an awareness of their ethnocentrism they begin to assess themselves in ethical terms. They label their beliefs with bigoted, chauvinistic descriptions. You must understand that ethnocentrism is a part of our civilization and it needs to be assessed in terms of its influence to uphold social order and the encouragement of societal change.
Ethnocentrism role is to maintain order rather than support social change. It encourages unity of the group. When a group trusts that their way is the best it promotes a feeling of we with acquaintances and reinforces the idea that devotion to companions and the defense of the basis for authority are important values. It upholds the continuation of the status quo destructively and discourages change.
The ethnocentric person will judge another groups by his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, particularly with regard to language, behavior, customs, and religion these cultural differences and divisions help to describe another ethnicity’s exceptional cultural individuality.
Ethnocentrism leads to the error of judgement of others. We incorrectly misrepresent what is significant and purposeful to others through our own glasses. We see their behaviors in relation to our own life occurrence not their perspective. We do not comprehend that their behaviors have their own significances and purposes in life. We are not conscious of the fact that we create more acceptable understandings about someone else’s life experiences.