Globalization, as a worldwide phenomenon, has put a dramatic effect on the cultures across the world. It has resulted in the expansion of international cultural activities surpassing borders and cultural preconceptions. It has widened the horizon of people towards the acceptance of new cultures and has positively affected the economic and political growth via intercultural interactions. Despite its advantages, it has also caused the development of negative attitudes in the minds of people towards other cultures, as they do not accept or understand other cultures, and this is broadly termed as Ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism is judging other cultures and traditions according to the pre-conceptions or ideas arising in the duties of one’s own cultures. In other words, ethnocentrism is when a person of a cultural background tries to judge and criticize other cultures considering his/her culture superior to them in several manners.
An ethnocentric person will look at things such as language, traditions, history, behavior, habits, and religion to feel superior as compared to any other ethnic group. Ethnocentric Bias exists in various other fields, for example business, especially international business, where home country members consider themselves superior to the other foreign members. It has always had negative implications.
Ethnocentrism is often considered the root cause of wars and numerous other social issues, with the power to intensify unanimity in a society. However, it does help to promote agreement of feeling or action, among people with common interests and beliefs.
Recently, psychologists Boris Bizumic, John Duckitt, and their colleagues conducted an in-depth conceptual and empirical investigation into ethnocentrism. They argued that ethnocentrism is a multidimensional construct, which involves specific intragroup and intergroup attitudes, which give a strong sense of importance to one’s own ethnic group over others and over individual group members.
The authors drew on various usages of ethnocentrism and identified different themes within them. They contended on conceptual, theoretical, and empirical grounds that ethnocentrism involves six facets, which all express a central idea of one’s own ethnic and cultural group importance.
This conceptualization rejected mere ingroup love, attachment, or identification, as well as outgroup hatred, hostility, and contempt as aspects of ethnocentrism, as none of these, necessarily involves a very strong sense of group importance.
As a result, according to this conceptualization, ethnocentrism consists of two intragroup facets (strong devotion to the ethnic ingroup and intragroup cohesion) and four intergroup facets (preference for the ethnic group over others, belief in group superiority, readiness to exploit other groups for the sake of the ingroup, and demand for ethnic purity).
An ethnocentric mindset leads to arrogance and let people ignore the bright side and useful knowledge imparted by other cultures. To avoid ethnocentrism, a person should avoid assumptions. He should not forget to be respectful towards other customs and beliefs. Though ethnocentrism provides confidence and assurance to the culture but at the same time it brushes aside the beliefs of cultural relativism.
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