Being ethnocentric leads us to do false assumptions around culturaldifferences.

You are watching: Why do ethnocentric people tend to view other cultures as abnormal?

We room ethnocentric once we use norms from our culture to do generalizations aboutother peoples" cultures and customs. Together generalizations — regularly made without aconscious awareness the we"ve supplied our culture as a universal yardstick — can be way offbase and also cause united state to misjudge other peoples. In the end, reasoning ethnocentrically reducesanother culture"s way of life to a pale variation of our own culture. Ethnocentrism leads to culturalmisinterpretation and also distorts communication in between human beings of various cultures.

Ethnocentric thinking causes us to do wrong assumptions about other people due to the fact that . ..

We wind increase making premature judgments.

It doesn"t take place to united state that "they" might not be very great at the an extremely thing we space bestat.

By assessing "them" by what we are finest at, we might miss those elements of life thatthey handle much more competently 보다 we do.

Simple instances of ethnocentric thinking

We Americans often talk around British chauffeurs driving "on the wrong side" the the road. Whynot just say "opposite side" or also "left hand side"?

We talk about written Hebrew as analysis "backwards." Why not just say "from appropriate to left"or "in the opposite direction indigenous English."

I motivated university students going on short-term objectives trips to think or speak the phrase"Oh, that"s different" fairly than using much more negative and also pejorative terms as soon as encounteringstrange customizeds or foods.


The opposite of ethnocentrism is xenocentrism. Xenocentrism way preferring concepts andthings indigenous other cultures over ideas and also things indigenous your very own culture. In ~ the heart ofxenocentrism is an presumption (conscious or unconscious) the other societies are premium to yourown.

One should be careful, of course, no to throw approximately charges of "ethnocentrism" to try todiscredit human being with who views we disagree. The finest use of an knowledge ofethnocentrism is to use it to correct our own ethnocentric attitudes and behavior fairly than thatof others.

We need to keep in mental the 2,000-year-old admonition of Jesus of Nazareth: "Why perform youlook at the speck the sawdust in your brother"s eye and pay no attention tothe plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)

For more understanding ~ above recognizing and dealing v ethnocentrism and also ethnocentricattitudes and also behavior: Dog sled gyeongju illustratingethnocentrism

Paul Hiebert ~ above ethnocentrism

The perils of monoculturalism

So, what"s wrong through being monocultural (that is, discovering only one culture)?

Well, a provincialism growing out the a monoculturalist worldview can cause you to loss intothese traps:

1. A naive ethnocentrismI judge everything using mine own culture as the measuring pole without gift consciouslyaware that what I"m doing.2. Absolutist thinkingInsisting the things are not to it is in questioned: "It"s my means or the highway"An too many legalistic worry for maintaining form, precedents and also established customs/dd>3. An embracing that naive realism"As we view things, that"s the method they are."Naive realism states that we have the right to know things in the people directly without taking intoaccount our very own filtering processes. Naive realism is the see that once we perceive something,we have actually perceived it specifically as it is. The is believing that our perceptions of truth are no coloredor mediated by something else.4. Lack of respect for other people"s ways"There"s nobody else here."5. The evaluation of customs and perspectives top top the communication of one"s own culturally learnedassumptions and also values (worldview)This grows out of the feeling that one"s views have been come at because they are superiorto any type of other views.6. The use of pejorative terms to describe personalizeds different native one"s ownThis may also be excellent innocently simply due to the fact that one hasn"t thought through the baggagewhich those terms and phrases lug due come the means they were supplied in the past.

"To recognize one"s culture is to evaluate its value. As soon as you evaluate the valueof who else"s culture, you set aside the presupposed superiority the your very own culture." --Adam Deckard, youth pastor


Dr. Seuss" Sneetches book is a delightful way of confronting prejudice based upon in cultural and country differencesYouTubereading that "The Sneetches"

"Cultural differences should it is in celebrated, no ironed out." -- Christy Williams,Nazarene bible College student

Cross-cultural understanding milestones

Can we efficiently get come embracing social diversity


"I"m normal; you"re weird"

As globalization move ahead, what can move us forward top top the course toward cross-culturalawareness and also understanding? To monitor their development toward a destination, travelers in theU.S. Often check the numbers on steel markers inserted every mile along U.S. Highways. Forthousands of years, european travelers have depended on numbered "milestones" come markprogress towards their destination.


Cultural awareness is more than simply realizing that another society is different from ours.Good social awareness has learning to value that other society and respecting its culturalboundaries. So, exactly how do we acquire to that point?

Here space some turning points usually encountered in the journeytoward yes, really cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding:

Point that departure: "There"s nobody else here" or "Our way is the only rightway."Mind-set: blind monoculturalism or ethnocentric thinkingDifferent method deficient"Wait a minute, there might be one more way."Mind-set: Willingness to crack open up the doorAwareness creates some sensitivity to social lenses"Oh, you average there are factors why civilization respond differently."Mind-set: ToleranceDiscernment offers birth to understanding"It"s yes to be different."Mind-set: Favorable acceptanceRespect for cultural differences"Multi-cultural living deserve to enhance our lives and also even be fun."Mind-set: Appreciation and admirationEsteem

Destination: Embracing the pleasure of multiculturalism and also cross-culturalunderstanding

To invite civilization to make the journey to cross-culturalunderstanding is not asking castle to take on an uncritical relativism. Superficial culturalrelativism trivializes differences and also can also gloss end evil. Because that instance, an occasionalmisguided anthropologist has denounced attempts by rather to acquire tribal groups to relocate awayfrom cannibalism ("it is, after every their way")

As we think about whether to embark top top this journey that willbridge cultural differences, we should not be deterred simply since some who have actually ferventlypreached "diversity" go so due to the fact that they had hidden -- and not so surprise -- "agendas" toadvance.

The roadway to cross-cultural knowledge will not constantly be easy. There will bemisunderstandings. There will certainly be clashes the priorities and even deep distinctions of opinion.Those should not be permitted to diminish the delights awaiting us at the finish of this path.

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"One reason we learn around diversity is so we don"t to speak something stupid and offendpeople" -- freshman

Cultural adjustment realities: What to perform with toilet paper?

One truth of life in Mexico is that waste water pipe are smaller sized than those usedin the U.S. That way that Mexican plumbing systems are much more susceptible come blockages thanare U.S. Systems. Therefore, most people in Mexico toss toilet record in a trash deserve to rather thanflushing it.

After one short-term mission trip dubbed Commission unto Mexico forwhich ns was the coordinator, a young mrs participant sent out me this note:


-- Howard Culbertson

How need to we explain a lightbulb?
Did you understand there is much more than one way todescribe a lightbulb? What people call it depends on their suggest of view. < much more >

Cultural anthropology courseresources: social bingo icebreaker Bwanda Fusa game cultural anthropology instance studies Christianity and society Culture shock Exam examine guides Iceberg and also concentriccircles models of culture Light pear illustration: What do you see? missions and society My own culture shock PowerPoint presentations supplied in course Reading reports Readings deserve to yousurvive comes Research document topic suggestions