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Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism is the tendency of judging a different culture primarily based on the standards and values of a person’s own culture. Ethnocentric people judge other cultures based on the things embraced by their ethnic group or issues of culture, particularly on matters of behavior, religion, language and customs. This is the perception that one specific ethnic group is in some way superior to the rest. This “ethnocentrism” term is derived from the Greek words “ethnos” that means a “nation” or a group of people and the English word, “center”. This is still a problem of the 21st century despite its presence in previous societies ever since pre-historic times.

Ethnocentrism has been the major cause of divisions that have been experienced in many parts of the world amongst various races ethnicities and religious groupings in the society in which we live. The belief that one group is superior based on such factors has destroyed the fabric that holds societies together. Such divisions are very serious and have produced detrimental effects to both parties involved. This issue is connected to matters of prejudice and racism. Even though many individuals could recognize the issues, they may not understand that this vice takes place all over and in our day-to-day lives both locally and at the political levels.

A lot has happened because of ethnocentrism and not many people have given the issue the attention that it requires. People seem to have allowed it to overpower them. There is little effort made to confront this malice and it was worked against all in the society. It starts as a fad and later becomes a mountain that all in the society cannot fight against. It gets to levels that cannot be controlled and managed effectively. Issues get out of hand and it becomes almost impossible to cool down tempers. Everyone believes they are right because of the customs and culture they are used to. Every individual wants to enforce their beliefs on others. No one is willing to come to a compromise and accept the diversity present in the society. Communities and nations have been plagued because of an inability to acknowledge that people are different and the most important thing is not about our cultures but rather the people we live with on a daily basis. This was the main thing that led to the scramble for colonies by the European world. Even though such levels have died out, the very small ethnocentrism behaviors have continued to eat up the society’s togetherness.

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