We are ethnocentric once we use norms from our society to do generalizations aboutother peoples" cultures and also customs. Together generalizations — regularly made there is no aconscious awareness the we"ve offered our culture as a universal yardstick — can be way offbase and cause us to misjudge other peoples. In the end, thinking ethnocentrically reducesanother culture"s means of life to a pale variation of our very own culture. Ethnocentrism leader to culturalmisinterpretation and also distorts communication between human us of various cultures.

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

Ethnocentric thinking reasons us to do wrong assumptions around other people because . ..

We wind increase making premature judgments.

It doesn"t happen to united state that "they" might not it is in very great at the very thing we space bestat.

By examining "them" through what we are finest at, we may miss those facets of life thatthey handle an ext competently 보다 we do.

Simple instances of ethnocentric thinking

We Americans frequently talk around British motorists driving "on the not correct side" that the road. Whynot simply say "opposite side" or also "left hand side"?

We talk around written Hebrew as reading "backwards." Why not just say "from appropriate to left"or "in the contrary direction from English."

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


The opposite of ethnocentrism is xenocentrism. Xenocentrism means preferring ideas andthings indigenous other societies over ideas and things indigenous your own culture. At the heart ofxenocentrism is an presumption (conscious or unconscious) that other societies are superior to yourown.

One need to be careful, that course, not to throw approximately charges the "ethnocentrism" to shot todiscredit human being with whose views we disagree. The finest use the an knowledge ofethnocentrism is to use it to exactly our own ethnocentric attitudes and behavior quite than thatof others.

We must keep in psychic the 2,000-year-old admonition that Jesus that Nazareth: "Why carry out youlook at the speck that sawdust in your brother"s eye and pay no fist tothe plank in your very own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)

For further understanding top top recognizing and also dealing with ethnocentrism and ethnocentricattitudes and also behavior: Dog sled race illustratingethnocentrism

Paul Hiebert ~ above ethnocentrism

The dangers of monoculturalism

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

Well, a provincialism cultivation out of a monoculturalist worldview can reason you to fall intothese traps:

1. A naive ethnocentrismI judge everything using my own culture as the measuring stick without gift consciouslyaware that what I"m doing.2. Absolutist thinkingInsisting the things are not to it is in questioned: "It"s my way or the highway"An overly legalistic problem for keeping form, precedents and established customs/dd>3. An embracing of naive realism"As we watch things, that"s the means they are."Naive realism claims that we deserve to know points in the civilization directly without taking intoaccount our own filtering processes. Naive realism is the view that once we perceive something,we have perceived it exactly as that is. It is believing the our awareness of truth are not coloredor mediated by something else.4. Lack of respect for various other people"s ways"There"s nobody else here."5. The testimonial of customs and perspectives ~ above the communication of one"s very own culturally learnedassumptions and values (worldview)This grows out of the feeling that one"s views have actually been come at due to the fact that they space superiorto any type of other views.6. The use of pejorative terms to describe customizeds different from one"s ownThis may also be done innocently simply because one hasn"t thought through the baggagewhich those terms and also phrases lug due come the way they were offered in the past.

"To recognize one"s society is to appreciate its value. When you appreciate the valueof someone else"s culture, you collection aside the presupposed superiority that your very own culture." --Adam Deckard, youth pastor


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

"Cultural differences should it is in celebrated, not ironed out." -- Christy Williams,Nazarene holy bible College student

Cross-cultural knowledge milestones

Can we properly get to embracing social diversity


"I"m normal; you"re weird"

As globalization moves ahead, what can move us forward on the route toward cross-culturalawareness and also understanding? To monitor their development toward a destination, travelers in theU.S. Often inspect the number on steel markers put every mile along U.S. Highways. Forthousands that years, europe travelers have depended upon numbered "milestones" come markprogress toward their destination.


Cultural awareness is an ext than simply realizing that another society is various from ours.Good cultural awareness contains learning to value that other culture and respecting that is culturalboundaries. So, how do we acquire to that point?

Here space some landmarks usually encountered in the journeytoward really cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding:

Point the departure: "There"s no one else here" or "Our means is the only rightway."Different method deficient"Wait a minute, there might be one more way."Mind-set: Willingness come crack open the doorAwareness creates part sensitivity to cultural lenses"Oh, you median there are reasons why civilization respond differently."Mind-set: ToleranceDiscernment offers birth to understanding"It"s yes sir to it is in different."Mind-set: Favorable acceptanceRespect for cultural differences"Multi-cultural living deserve to enhance our lives and even be fun."Mind-set: Appreciation and also admirationEsteem

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

To invite world to do the journey to cross-culturalunderstanding is not asking castle to take on an uncritical relativism. Superficial culturalrelativism trivializes differences and can also gloss over evil. For instance, one occasionalmisguided anthropologist has denounced do the efforts by rather to obtain tribal teams to relocate awayfrom cannibalism ("it is, after all their way")

As we take into consideration whether come embark on this journey the willbridge social differences, we have to not be deterred simply since some who have ferventlypreached "diversity" go so due to the fact that they had hidden -- and also not so hidden -- "agendas" toadvance.

The road to cross-cultural expertise will not constantly beeasy. There will be misunderstandings. There will certainly be clashes that priorities and even deepdifferences of opinion. Those have to not be enabled to lessen the delights awaiting us at the end ofthis path.

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"One factor we learn about diversity is so we don"t speak something stupid and offendpeople" -- jajalger2018.org freshman

Cultural mediate realities: What to execute with toilet paper?

One reality of life in Mexico is the waste water tube are smaller than those usedin the U.S. That method that Mexican pipes systems are an ext susceptible to blockages thanare U.S. Systems. Therefore, most human being in Mexico toss toilet file in a trash can rather thanflushing it.

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


-- Howard Culbertson

How must we define a lightbulb?
Did you know there is an ext than one method todescribe a lightbulb? What civilization call it relies on their suggest of view. < more >

Cultural anthropology courseresources: social bingo icebreaker Bwanda Fusa game social anthropology case studies Christianity and society Culture shock Exam examine guides Iceberg and also concentriccircles models of culture Light pear illustration: What do you see? objectives and society My own society shock PowerPoint presentations supplied in course Reading reports Readings deserve to yousurvive coming jajalger2018.org? Research document topic suggestions