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Ethnocentrism is when we are so focused on the way our
culture, race, and ethnicity works that we fail to understand the way others
work. For example, believing one’s own ethnic world view is the only way we can
judge and understand things like customs, practices, values, standards and
habits. This affects the way we perceive the world around us because its like walking around blind. We don’t see possibilities
of other ways of thinking, seeing, understanding, and interpreting the world. A
good example is when we talked about eye contact during lecture. Here we make
eye contact to show respect but, in the middle east it’s the other way around,
because you have to look to the floor to show respect. An ethnocentric person
would consider one of these two wrong because they are expecting other cultures
to follow their own. This is wrong because people are not supposed to be so centered
in their own culture.

negative effects of having ethnocentric perspective on the world is that it can
lead to violence or discrimination within a society. An example would be Martin
Luther King Jr. Martin grew up in a society where he was discriminated not
allowed to go to parks, schools, churches, or even drink from water fountains
just because of the color of his skin. This was due to not only racism but also
being ethnocentric, because they believed that white people were superior and
should be allowed more privileges. Another example would be Hitler which was

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also addressed in the book. Hitler believed
Jews were inferior to his ethnicity and deserved to die. Many innocent’s
people’s lives were taken away in concentration camps all because he thought
they weren’t a pure race. (Miller, Barbara. Cultural Anthropology. United
States. Pearson Education. 03 Nov 2012.) Ethnocentrism can also be exploited to
foster conflict. An example of this would be when Donald trump became our
president. In an article called “Ethnocentrism in the US” by Christopher
Santori says, “After it was apparent Mr. Trump was going to become
the next president of the United states, some people were happy and some were
not so happy. What had happened in the days and weeks following the election
were unimaginable. Call me naïve, but I did not expect to see as much hate
spewed upon minority groups as there was. Muslim women having their hijabs
ripped off, black families waking up to hate speech spray-painted on their
houses, men and women of Middle-eastern descent immediately pegged terrorists
and being called that in public. Countless videos have popped up with his
supporters spewing hate rhetoric in the name of Trump. “Go back to the
Middle-east you terrorist f***, Trump is president now!” Things like these were
said to other American citizens. If this does not scream ethnocentrism, I am
not sure what does.” This caused a major conflict in the US because of the way
he spoke about Mexicans, Muslims, and African American’s. His views on these
races were very ethnocentric because he believes we bring nothing but bad
things to this country.

ways we can address ethnocentric perspective in our daily lives is when people
believe you should marry someone in your same culture. People believe that your
marriage will last longer since you share the same morals, beliefs and
traditions. But that is not true, people need to realize that there is
absolutely no proof that a marriage will last longer and that point of


view is coming from being ethnocentric. In
anthropological work you address ethnocentrism with Interpretive Anthropology.
This is when you “seek to understand culture by studying what people think
about, their ideas and the meanings that are important to them.” Medich Mellissa. (2018) Anthro 3 course slides 1.1.
PowerPoint slides There is also Culture Relativism. This is “the
perspective that each culture must be understood in terms of the values and
ideas of that culture and not judged by the standard of another culture.” Medich
Mellissa. (2018) Anthro 3 course slides 1.1. PowerPoint slides This concept
relates to ethnocentricity because it is a way to have an open mind about
cultures and treating them with respect. This means you cannot judge a culture
or say one is right or wrong.

own personal view on the world has changed because I am always growing and
learning new things every day. For example, I always like to see the pros and
cons to everything. It’s a way I make my decisions and handle situations in
life. I also like to remind myself that every problem has its solution.


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