Maharashtra State BoardHSC Science (General) 11th
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Concept of Ethnocentrism

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notes

Ethnocentrism:

Ethnocentrism in social science and anthropology - as well as in colloquial English discourse - means to apply our own culture as a frame of reference in order to judge other cultures, practices, behaviors, beliefs, and people, instead of using the standards of the particular culture involved. Since this judgment is often negative, some people also use the term to refer to the belief that one's culture is superior to, or more correct or normal than, all others - especially regarding the distinctions that define each ethnicity's cultural identity, such as language, behavior, customs, and religion. In common usage, it can also simply mean any culturally biased judgment. For example, ethnocentrism can be seen in the common portrayals of the Global South and the Global North.

Ethnocentrism is sometimes related to racism, stereotyping, discrimination, or xenophobia. However, the term "ethnocentrism" does not necessarily involve a negative view of the others' race or indicate a negative connotation.

EXAMPLES:

1. An example of ethnocentrism in culture is the Asian cultures across all the countries of Asia. Throughout Asia, the way of eating is to use chopsticks with every meal. These people may find it unnecessary to find that people in other societies, such as American society, eat using forks, spoons, knives, etc

2. To solidify the definition of ethnocentrism, it's helpful to look at present-day politics. With instances occurring since its conception, the United States has often thought of itself as more powerful, more economically sound, and generally better than other nations. This has been shown by the country's tendency to dabble in situations occurring in other nations. Some would argue that's what's going on with the country's involvement in the Middle East. Although the idea of every citizen in the United States belonging to one ethnicity is certainly debatable since the country has citizens who originally came from all over the world, the feeling of national pride stands in for a pure ethnicity in this case.

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