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    A World Of Diversity Essay (566 words)

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    Ethnocentric, derived from the Greek words ethnos” meaning race, people, or cultural group, and “kentrikos” meaning concentrated about or directed to a center, is a word that describes many cultures on Earth. The official definition of ethnocentric is “characterized or based on the attitude that one’s own group is superior” or “having race as a central interest.” However, many problems and politics exist in the world, and it seems that the average American is only interested in themselves. I chose to focus on American ethnocentrism because I have been exposed to this culture the most. In most foreign countries, being knowledgeable about world politics is just as important as their own culture’s politics. America is the melting pot of the world with many different cultures, and we accept this variety into our country as our ancestors were accepted when they came over. However, today, people are arrogant towards foreigners who do not wash away their former demeanor.

    Why don’t we realize that we are so lucky to live in a secure and free country that should glorify diversity and not promote prejudice? When we make contact with people whose beliefs and cultural traditions challenge our own perspective, most of us feel some sort of intimidation. Professor Michael Bond from Simon Fraser University stated that the mere existence of different others is inherently threatening because they either implicitly or explicitly challenge the absolute validity of one’s own perspective.” According to this analysis, prejudice is a psychological inability to tolerate the existence of different others and results from a need to maintain absolute faith in one’s own cultural worldview. Ethnocentrism, in my opinion, is very ignorant, unintelligent, and closed-minded. Your normal rituals may seem just as strange to other cultures, but they are seen by them in a more understanding way. Ethnocentrism has been instilled in us since birth, as we learn to attach ourselves to our cultural groups, depending on them for comfort and a sense of safety.

    Piaget’s theory on child development states that a child believes he is the center of the universe until he learns to de-center” himself, i.e., he realizes that the world can be constructed from a number of different perspectives. This is when the child starts to care for others and develops a better understanding of respect and friendliness towards them.

    People as a whole have to de-center their strong cultural beliefs and the thought that their culture is the only one important enough to concern themselves with. William Graham Sumner, an American sociologist, political economist, and the originator of the term ethnocentric, defined ethnocentrism in 1904 as the view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything and all others are scaled and rated in reference to one’s group. Each group thinks that its own folkways are the only right ones. If it observes that other people have other folkways, these excite its scorn. Ethnocentrism may manifest itself in behavior such as warfare, attitudes of superiority, hostility, violence, discrimination, and verbal aggression.

    In the past, groups such as the Nazis, the Crusaders, and the Muslims have waged wars and caused death over cultural and religious differences, using ethnocentrism as their incentive. Hate groups are also formed on this notion, believing that their religious or cultural group is superior to others when, in reality, their customs are simply different. I realize that we are all ethnocentric to varying degrees because we are born into a culture at birth and we cling to that culture.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    A World Of Diversity Essay (566 words). (2018, Dec 31). Retrieved from

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