A World of Diversity Ethnocentric, derived from the Greek words of Ethnos, meaning race, people or cultural group, and Kentrikos, meaning concentrated about or directed to a center is a word that greatly describes many cultures on this planet we call Earth . The official definition of Ethnocentric is ” characterized or based on the attitude that ones own group is superior” or “having race as a central interest”. There is a whole world of problems, politics, and, other cultures, but it seems that the average Americans only interest is that of themselves. The reason I chose to focus more on the American being ethnocentric is because I have been exposed the most to this culture. Why is it that in most foreign countries being knowledgeable about world politics is just as important as their own cultures politics? America is the melting pot of the world with so many different cultures and we accept this variety into our country as we were accepted when our ancestors came over.
Today I feel that people are arrogant towards those foreigners who dont wash away their former demeanor. Why dont we realize that we are so lucky to live in a secure and free country that should glorify diversity and not promote prejudice. When we make contact with people whose beliefs and cultural tradition challenge our own perspective most feel some sort of intimidation. Professor Michael Bond from Simon Fraser University quoted: the mere existence of different others is inherently threatening because they either implicitly or explicitly challenge the absolute validity of one’s own perspective. According to this analysis, prejudice is a psychological inability to tolerate the existence of different others and results from a need to maintain absolute faith in one’s own cultural world view”. Ethnocentrism in my opinion is very ignorant, unintelligent, and closed minded in that your normal rituals may seem just as strange to other cultures, but are seen by them in a more understanding way.
Ethnocentrism has been instilled in us since birth, learning to attach our selves to our cultural groups depending on them for comfort and a sense of safety. Piagets theory on child development states that a child believes he is the center of the universe until he learns to “de-center” himself, i.e., he realizes that the world can be constructed from a number of different perspectives. This is when the child starts to care for others and takes a better understanding of respect and friendliness towards them. People as a whole in a way have to “de-center” their strong cultural beliefs, as well as the thought that their culture is the only one important enough to concern themselves with. American sociologist, political economist and the originator of the term ethnocentric, William Graham Sumner, in 1904 defined ethnocentrism as : the view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything and all others are scaled and rated, in reference to one’s group. Each group thinks that its own folkways are the only right ones.
And if it observes that other people have other folkways, these excite its scorn. Ethnocentrism may manifest itself in behavior such as warfare, attitudes of superiority, hostility, violence, discrimination, and verbal aggression. In the past, groups such as the Nazis, the Crusaders and, the Muslims have waged wars and death over cultural and religious differences using ethnocentrism as there incentive. Hate groups are also formed on this notion believing that their religious or cultural group is superior to others when in reality their customs are simply different. I realize that we are all ethnocentric to varying degrees because we are born into a culture at birth and we cling to that culture as a.