We are the best....
September 3, 2008 4:01am CST
Very often we judge people and their behaviours from our cultural perspectives, more often than not as being superior or better than them. Our tendency to evaluate the beliefs,values and behaviours of our own culture with respect to other cultures/ethnic groups. Yes:- ETHNOCENTRISM. The degree of ethocentrism varies somewhat with interaction from one ethnic group to another.The extreme forms of this leads to racism and discrimination.The simplest forms of ethocentrism also distorts our way of seeing things,easily making us misinterpret, raising arguments and conflicts. If only people recognise and control these false notions of ethnocentrism based on their own limited experiences will they see the new opportunity and the possibilites of new experiences. Please share your thoughts.
6 people like this
5 Sep 08
Alok I do feel that we all are ethnocentric some way or the other. The concept of groups, tribes, rituals, beliefs, religion and society come from this only. How else would you define community, culture and ethnicity. We shouldn't be having any problem with this unless we confine ourselves to the falsities that should not be attached to this. When and if we do we would only affirm our worthlessness as a human. The flip side of it could be very gross, as you have said, ethnocentrism has led us to the black days in history when we resorted to apartheidism and I am afraid we are not over it yet.. And also now if we have a sharp look, this is again the cause of petty communalism! Why on earth we still fight over this! But, alok, the good aspect should not be missed either. We are united through this ethnocentricism and our inate, eternal patriotism is but due to this. Thanks. PS: I learned a new term today. Thanks ya.
5 Sep 08
Mimpi, I learnt the term very recently myself. Yes, we all are ethnocetric in some way or the other. But it's important we recognise these falsities and do not let go of them in trying to prove a point. The good aspect no doubt is there and that is of patriotism, but at the same time it should not be at the expense of making it look as superiority over another. Thanks for the great response
6 Sep 08
This reminds me of a discussion that you had started regarding human tendency to resort of 'bad' things instead of the 'good' ones. May be that could be the reason why we can only grasp the falsities of ethnocentricism rather than what it ideally should be. Why do we let go of good things so easily!
21 Oct 08
We all like to live with people who think and act like us. We hate people who have more money than us. And we hate equally the people who are less fortunate. We always like to make our own rules and draw our own lines. That is where the rule and ruler in any form comes in and makes a common code. A human being is made selfish and he will be selfish until and otherwise he is controlled by law and guidance and awakening . The survival of the fittest plays a great role here too.
• United Kingdom
3 Sep 08
I think that you are right when you say we are overly judgemental of other people from other cultures! I guess this is just because we have no understanding of their way of life. By the same token, I'm sure that they judge us as they have no understanding of our way of life! This is like a viscious circle that goes on and on. Let's take an example! What about the tribes in the Amazon rainforest? I guess we tend to think of them as being uncivilised and very animal like! Well, their way of life works for them and I think that they could teach us a thing or two, like humility perhaps! Now, if one of the Incas or whatever you call them, was to come and live in a place like New York City he would probably end up having a heart attack! The Western world is classed as an advanced civilisation and the poor chap would be totally lost, he would be scared out of his wits! Can there be a mutual understanding between the two cultures though? I don't think there can. They love their way of life and we love ours, so the answer is live and let live I guess! Andrew
4 Sep 08
Andrew, you have given a very relevant example of the tribes of the Amazon rain forest. We sure could learn some things from them. As long as we have this attitude of wanting to learn and not wanting to dominate, things will be fine. Live and let live would be the best way to go about it. Thanks and have a great day.
4 Sep 08
well, we humans tend to think that we are the best in everything and look down on other people... we also always think that we are more superior than other people and want to have power over other people... that is just our sinful nature i think... we can't help it... we just have to learn to control it... take care and have a nice day...
• United States
3 Sep 08
Basically: There's a line between being proud of your race and culture, and getting a superiority complex. Am I close? ^_^' There's quite a bit of ethnocentrism going around, I consider it as a sort of game people like to play...but I really don't play myself, 'cause I think it's silly, and prolly a bit misguided.
3 Sep 08
I think that everybody is ethnocentric to a certain extent, it's just that for some people it is a very negative thing. For example when you are a religious person, you believe that your god is the true and only one, and will not accept that any other gods exist, to me that is a form of ethnocentricity. It is natural that we have faith in our culture and believe it is in some way superior, it's a form of patriotisn which is generally viewed as a positive thing! But there is a huge difference between believing in your god and being proud of your country and discriminating against other people, cultures and religions just because they are different to yours, that is always a very negative thing!! xxx
3 Sep 08
Hi! By coincidence, this is the second time that I'm entering a discussion on ethnocentrism within a span of one month. The other time was on a face to face basis with a few personal friends. Prior to that, I encountered the topic way back in college - decades ago. In both cases (last month and college) the concept was brought up as a reference point for concerns on conflict. My thoughts on this? In this particular instant, I think that for all that the whole wide world has found virtual connection through the world wide web, ethnocentrism is still a force to reckon with. It still rears its ugly head. Still, it must be a yin-yang thing. Surely, forces opposite to ethnocentrism are also at work: love, compasssion, understanding, patience, acceptance, tolerance. Thank you, friend, for bringing up this topic. It provided a gentle nudge for me, because a few times, I've been tempted to burst out something like "what the [earth] you are you i am i she is she he is he and we all think." Peace, friend. Blessings!
• Delhi, India
3 Sep 08
Alok! It appears a difficult one for me. LOL! I can answer simple one.............!! I just believe in one thing that we all are human in flash and blood. When we come into this world, we are all alike. It is the society which divides us amongst different groups, cast, creed and religion. I believe, we should not cast aspirations on the people from other cast, creed or religion, everyone is free to follow a religion or faith but what matters is - we should treat the other fellow who are from different ethnic groups, with due respect, care, courtesy and diginity. We should not undermine or belittle anyone's dignity.
3 Sep 08
Dpk, The words may seem complex just as they did to me when i started the discussion. However the concept or the message behind and what you have expressed is very clear. We sometimes knowingly or unkowingy feel that we are superior or in ways inferior to people of different ethnicity. This is what the discussion is all about and what comes through from your response as well. Thanks for the response.
• Delhi, India
8 Sep 08
I took a sigh of relief after going though your comments and after knowing that I could catch crux of the discussion. (Alok, I find you are moving ahead at a very very rapid pace and you are increasing your number of posts day by day........good to see it......that you are racing ahead in such a consistent fashtion.......happy mylotting.......and keep it up!!!)
4 Sep 08
When you say it is a better thing it means that you are comparing it with something else and the moment you do that against different ethnic gorups or cultures that is where the problems of ethnocentrism start. As long as we keep the thoughts to ourself and do not let it influence our actions to a great deal then i suppose it is acceptable.