Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Ethnocentrism is the belief in the superiority of one’s ethnic group. Though it sounds like ethnocentrism is bad, ethnocentrism has positive and negative qualities. Teaching children to believe that there country is the best country is a form of positive ethnocentrism. Promoting the positive views of patriotism to one’s country would also constitute as positive ethnocentrism. It's positive because you are not ashamed of who you are, you openly embrace your heritage, and you are somewhat keen on spreading this cultural knowledge to others around you. On the other hand, it’s negative if an individual may have been raised in such a culture that stressed their culture as superior to all others. If one is too extreme in their nationalist sentiment, people will think you have no respect for other ethnicities, races, or nations.
I believe that Americans can be very ethnocentric. When Americans travel abroad or learn about other countries, we express it most when we view other ways of living and doing things as wrong rather than as different. We do this for many reasons. I think one of the most common reasons is because that the US is a very wealthy country compared to most and our infrastructure works well most of the time. This makes us think that our ways are always better and some of the ways other people do things are wrong. Americans are not the only ones who are ethnocentric. Every ethnic group or nation can be ethnocentric. When we travel abroad we also become exposed to other people’s ethnocentrism.
So, fellow classmates, when we reach England, it is good for us to recognize that they may evaluate some of “our ways” of doing things as wrong, not just different. When this happens, we must be prepared to respond in a polite manner. One good thing that comes out of this if it happens to us is that it makes us more sensitive to how it feels and in return, it encourages us to not be ethnocentric.