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ETHNOCENTRISM Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behaviour, customs, and religion. The term ethnocentrism was coined by William G. Sumner, upon observing the tendency for people to differentiate between the in group and others. Ethnocentrism occurs when one culture or nation places itself at the top of an imagined hierarchy of cultures and nations and subsequently assigns other cultures and nations equivalent or lower value on that scale. To be fair, a system of belief in which someone doesn't consider his or her own as the right one is inherently inconsistent, for it is admitting its own falseness. With this in mind, it is important to examine the bases for our beliefs regarding other cultures and nations. The tendency to evaluate other groups according to the values and standards of one's own ethnic group, especially with the conviction that one's own ethnic group is superior to the other groups. "The fallacy of ethnocentrism is committed by people who exaggerate the role of their own group in its interactions with other groups." Ethnocentrism is wrong for obvious reasons; it puts down a certain group or culture. It can lead to a group thinking they are self-righteous and better than another group. It also gives lead way to judge another culture's way of life.

An ethnocentric person often believes that the traditions and beliefs of other cultures are inferior or wrong instead of merely different. The opposite of ethnocentrism is xenocentrism, which is the thinking that the ways of other cultures are superior to one's. own.One example of ethnocentrism is when a white person assumes that a Native American person who is not performing any work in the middle of the day is lazy. It is possible that in reality, the Native American worked at night and is resting after performing that labor.Both advantages and disadvantages are associated with ethnocentrism. One country that is considered particularly ethnocentric is Japan. On the side of advantages of ethnocentrism, Japan is known for its relative lack of ethnic conflicts, which makes it a fairly peaceful place to live. Life is simplified because residents do not typically have to take into consideration the needs and wants of multiple ethnic groups. Japan also allows only a limited amount of immigration, which lessens the issues that are brought by illegal immigrants. Because the focus within Japan is on one language and one culture, language and cultural misunderstandings are held to a minimum.However, ethnocentrism is also thought to carry various disadvantages. It is said to encourage the belief that one's own culture is better than everyone else's, which causes conflicts. It may also cause some people to take a narrow-minded view of the world where they assume that any opinions or beliefs that oppose their own are wrong or bad. Ethnocentric people often make incorrect assumptions or jump to conclusions. One of the main disadvantages of ethnocentrism is that it can lead to misunderstandings. It also sometimes harms international relations.More reference links: home.snu.edu www.iupui.edu

Ethnocentrism in Today's Society Everybody can be accused on ethnocentrism at least once in their lives. Even though their crime may not be obvious to them, it is usually shown in little matters and ways of thinking. Ethnocentrism is simply the belief that one's group or culture is superior to another. This can be applied to race, different countries, or ageism issues. Typically, ethnocentrism is most commonly applied to race and other cultures/countries. Ethnocentrism is defined as a bad term and is wrong for obvious reasons; it puts down a certain group or culture. I think the biggest case of ethnocentrism that America has experienced is the time of the second civil war. Ethnocentrism was what came between the white and black people for centuries. Another positive thing birthed from ethnocentrism is patriotism. While extreme nationalism can lead to wars, having a sense of pride in one's country is always good for the society. Conflict, of course often leads to social change and in that sense ethnocentrism becomes a vehicle for the promotion of social change. It does so, however, through encouragement of its peaceful evolution. There is little doubt that most social scientists are biased in favour of peaceful social change and are opposed to conflict. Consequently, they tend even if subtly, to denigrate ethnocentrisms and to imply that students must rid themselves of it if they are to learn effectively.
The functions of ethnocentrism in maintaining order are more apparent than those which promote social change. First, ethnocentrism encourages the solidarity of the group. Believing that one's own ways are the best, encourages a "we" feeling with associates and strengthens the idea that loyalty to comrades and preservation of the basis for superiority are important values. Second, ethnocentrism hinders the understanding of the cooperation with other groups. If the ways of one's own group are best, there is little incentive to interact with inferior groups. In fact, attitudes of suspicion, disdain and hostility are likely to be engendered. Extreme ethnocentrism is likely to promote conflict, as the records of past wars, and religious and racial conflicts reveal. The Mandate of Heaven - One of the most prominent examples of ethnocentrism was the Sino centric system developed out of the idea of the "Mandate of Heaven" proliferated by the Chinese philosopher Confucius. The "Mandate of Heaven" meant that the Chinese felt that they had received divine power which entitled them to exert heavy rule over the citizens, and that they had power over the rest of the world. In fact, the Emperor was referred to as the "Son of Heaven" exemplifying the intense control he had over the people. While this system of government formally ended in the nineteenth century, some scholars believe that the Chinese ethnocentrism lives on.
Other one of the most well known and the most horrible examples of ethnocentrism to ever occur was during Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler decided that he hated Jews, as well as some other groups of people, and had many innocent people slaughtered in concentration camps. They did not deserve the torture that they received, and this was clearly an extreme case of ethnocentrism. While prejudice certainly leads to problems, very rarely in history has ethnocentrism led to the mass slaughter of millions of innocent people. Many people may recognize the problems, they may not realize that ethnocentrism occurs everywhere and everyday at both the local and political levels. In conclusion, ethnocentrism can be both a bad and good thing. It is good to be proud of one's heritage, country, and culture. Ethnocentrism can lead to social integration and strong personal, patriotism, and group ties. However, like anything in life, extremes are bad. Therefore extreme ethnocentrism can breed racism, hate crimes, and even wars. Instead of people getting mad when others are being a little bit ethnocentric, they should first see the ethnocentrism in themselves. Then they should learn that a person's ethnocentrism is what their biases are. What I can understand from the claim of integration is that through ethnocentrism members of a particular ethnic group will do what they can to come together as one and to maintain their belief, ethos and culture and to defend what is best for the entire culture or ethnic group.

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