Ethnocentrism is Everywhere Essay

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Ethnocentrism is Everywhere

Ethnocentrism is a commonly used word in circles where ethnicity, inter-ethnic relations, and similar social issues are of concern. The usual definition of the term is thinking one's own group's ways are superior to others or judging other groups as inferior to one's own. Ethnic refers to cultural heritage, and centrism refers to the central starting point. So ethnocentrism basically refers to judging other groups from our own cultural point of view. Even this does not address the underlying issue of why people do this. Most people, thinking of the shallow definition, believe that they are not ethnocentric, but are rather open minded and tolerant. However everyone is
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The assumptions we make about others' experience can involve false negative judgments, reflected in the common definition of ethnocentrism. Assumptions can also reflect false positive attitudes about others' ways. False positive assumptions are just as misleading as false negative assumptions.

Ethnocentrism leads to misunderstanding others. We falsely distort what is meaningful and functional to other peoples through our own tinted glasses. We see their ways in terms of our life experience, not their context. We do not understand that their ways have their own meanings and functions in life, just as our ways have for us. We aren't aware that we can develop more valid understandings about how they experience life.

A lack of understanding can also inhibit constructive resolutions when we face conflicts between social groups. Ethnocentrism is also evident in international relations, creating conflicts and inhibiting resolution of conflicts. If we don't win the conflict, will we lose? An ultimate case of such misunderstandings is warfare, where many people are killed, maimed for life, have their families, subsistence, health, and way of life disrupted, sometimes forever.

Addressing ethnocentrism is not a matter of trying not to be ethnocentric. This is an impossible task, since we will never experience every life situation of everyone around the world. The

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