, The social identity approach suggests that ethnocentric beliefs are caused by a strong identification with one's own culture that directly creates a positive view of that culture. For example, if inability to control aggressive impulses. Examples include the crime syndicates of Russia, Sicily, and the United States, prison gangs, and the diamond trade (Salter 2002). changes in social structure. a tendency to view other ethnic or cultural groups from the perspective of one's own. To this day, Japan, Korea, and Viet Nam still refer to China as the middle kingdom. " In the War and Other Essays (1911), he wrote that "the sentiment of cohesion, internal comradeship, and devotion to the in-group, which carries with it a sense of superiority to any out-group and readiness to defend the interests of the in-group against the out-group, is technically known as ethnocentrism.  Therefore, the presence of ethnocentrism in cinema leads to stereotypical images of cultures that are different to ours. This term was coined by William Graham Sumner, a social evolutionist and professor of Political and Social Science at Yale University. , Realistic conflict theory assumes that ethnocentrism happens due to "real or perceived conflict" between groups. England defined the world's meridians with itself on the center line, and to this day, longitude is measured in degrees east or west of Greenwich, thus establishing as fact an Anglo-centrist's worldview. Historical examples of these negative effects of ethnocentrism are The Holocaust, the Crusades, the Trail of Tears, and the internment of Japanese Americans. Ethnocentrism is a natural result of the observation that most people are more comfortable with and prefer the company of people who are like themselves, sharing similar values and behaving in similar ways. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. With his methodological innovations, Boas sought to show the error of the proposition that race determined cultural capacity. Definition of Ethnocentrism. The belief that one's own culture is superior to all others and is the standard by which all other cultures should be measured. , Several theories have been reinforced through the social and psychological understandings of ethnocentrism including T.W Adorno's Authoritarian Personality Theory (1950), Donald T. Campbell's Realistic Group Conflict Theory (1972), and Henri Tajfel's Social Identity Theory (1986). Evolutionary psychology posits that the reason for these groupings stems from the alignment of interests among members of these groups due to their genetic similarity. Salter, F.K., ed. To help, Malinowski would develop the theory of functionalism as guides for producing non-ethnocentric studies of different cultures. These ethnic distinctions and sub-divisions serve to define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity. Risky Transactions. This article covers anthropology, political science and especially sociology. At the height of the Chinese empire, the Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Thai also believed China to be the centre of the universe and referred to China as the middle kingdom. Various researchers study ethnocentricism as it pertains to their specialized fields. The media industry is dominated by the Global North, so Western ethnocentrism tends to be exposed in the media. A considerable number of people are exposed to social media, whose purpose is to encourage interaction among users. The Japanese word for foreigner ("gaijin") can also mean "outsiders," and Japanese do not normally use the term to describe themselves when visiting other countries. What pride and self-confidence are to the individual, ethnocentrism, patriotism, local loyalty are to social unities. the raising or rising of a body in air by supernatural means. Cinema has been around our society since the beginning of the 20th century, and it is an important tool that allow to entertain and/or educate the viewer. Throughout history, warring factions have been composed of fairly homogeneous ethnic groups. Comparisons were mostly based on what the colonists believed as superior and what their western societies have accomplished. In social sciences, ethnocentrism means to judge another culture based on the standard of one's own culture instead of the standard of the other particular culture. Most rankings were strongly influenced by colonization and the belief to improve societies they colonized, ranking the cultures based on the progression of their western societies and what they classified as milestones. The United States has traditionally conceived of itself as having a unique role in world history—famously characterized by President Abraham Lincoln as "the last, best hope of Earth"—an outlook known as American exceptionalism. The most detrimental effects of ethnocentrism resulting into genocide, apartheid, slavery, and many violent conflicts. [ethnocentrism not applicable to all branches of psychology] The implications are usually far less for biological psychology. Ethnocentrism can be explained at different levels of analysis. Ethnic strife is seen to dominate the landscape in many parts of the world even to this day. People often feel ethnocentric while experiencing "culture shock" or when a behaviour is not understood due to cultural differences. Social Change. , Together, Boas and his colleagues propagated the certainty that there are no inferior races or cultures.  Finally, scholars agree that avoiding stereotypes is an indispensable prerequisite to overcome ethnocentrism; and mass media play a key role regarding this issue. Mead and Benedict were two of Boas's students.  In his 1911 book The Mind of Primitive Man, Boas wrote that: It is somewhat difficult for us to recognize that the value which we attribute to our own civilization is due to the fact that we participate in this civilization, and that it has been controlling all our actions from the time of our birth; but it is certainly conceivable that there may be other civilizations, based perhaps on different traditions and on a different equilibrium of emotion and reason, which are of no less value than ours, although it may be impossible for us to appreciate their values without having grown up under their influence. Oxford and New York: Berghahn. The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary  However, the anthropocentric interpretations initially took place most notably in the 19th century when anthropologists began to describe and rank various cultures according to the degree to which they had developed significant milestones, such as monotheistic religions, technological advancements, and other historical progressions. The psychological underpinning of ethnocentrism appears to be assigning to various cultures higher or lower status or value by the ethnocentric person who then assumes that the culture of higher status or value is intrinsically better than other cultures. , The term ethnocentrism derives from two Greek words: "ethnos," meaning nation, and "kentron," meaning center.  In his 1906 book, Folkways, Sumner describes ethnocentrism as "the technical name for the view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it." , Although the causes of ethnocentric beliefs and actions can have varying roots of context and reason, the effects of ethnocentrism has had both negative and positive effects throughout history. It is not unusual for a person to consider that what ever they believe is the most appropriate system of belief or that how ever they behave is the most appropriate and natural behavior. Some Western shows tend to depict foreign cultures as inferior or strange in contrast to their own culture. Because categorizing and organizing is a basic element of human nature and identity, it would be impossible to eliminate ethnocentrism from our world entirely. The ethnocentric person will see those cultures other than their birth culture as being not only different but also wrong to some degree. In political science and public relations, not only have academics used the concept to explain nationalism, but activists and politicians have used labels like ethnocentric and ethnocentrism to criticize national and ethnic groups as being unbearably selfish — or at best, culturally biased (see cultural bias).  Although loyalty can increase better in-grouper approval, limited interactions with other cultures can prevent individuals to have an understanding and appreciation towards cultural differences resulting in greater ethnocentrism. “Corporal,” “General,” “Sergeant,” “Private”: What’s The Order Of The Military Ranks? ... Social Psychology. The books The Sexual Life of Savages, by Malinowski, Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict and Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead (two of Boas's students) are classic examples of anti-ethnocentric anthropology. , Both had also urged anthropologists to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in order to overcome their ethnocentrism. , Alternative or opposite perspectives could cause individuals to develop naïve realism and be subject to limitations in understandings. Researchers tend to focus on investigating behaviours within their own culture and taking samples of participants from their own culture - then saying these results can be applied to everyone. “Democrat” vs. “Republican”: Where Did The Parties Get Their Names? Ethnocentrism is usually associated with racism. In his 1976 book on evolution, The Selfish Gene, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins writes that "blood-feuds and inter-clan warfare are easily interpretative in terms of Hamilton's genetic theory.  Since ethnocentrism implicated a strong identification with one's in-group, it mostly automatically leads to negative feelings and stereotyping to the members of the outgroup, which can be confused with racism.
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