Ethnocentrism: The Idea That Your Culture is the Best

This is one of the many examples of the ethnocentrism. Looking here at its results, it is no wonder that is can cause such horrid things in society.

The white man’s burden, think about it, why did that idea even exist? Oh yeah, because we have a tendency to let our pride into our science and philanthropy. It’s a struggle that many face—because of the way that we’re raised to do things a certain way, for a certain reason, when things are done contrary to those things we freak out and scream that it’s wrong or backwards. But who is to say that we are not the ones to do it backwards? Each culture is unique and valuable, just like our own, and who is to say what those cultures should or shouldn’t be like? It was ideas like that which led to colonization and imperialism which in turn led to countless deaths of indigenous peoples, sometimes to the point of blatant genocide.

The English government is guilty for this in many accounts, as are the French, Dutch, American, Spanish; the list just goes on and on and on. For example, consider how many Native Americans perished from disease fromEuropeas well as the Europeans’ attempt to “help” them, to further their society and make them more modern. Think of all of the class struggles that colonization has set into affect. Think of apartheid, think of the genocide instigated by the class separation that the Dutch settlers created, think ofIndiaand all the struggles that they faced under English rule, think of the native Australians, the Aborigines.

It seems that whenever one culture has the upper hand strength wise, they try to use it to enforce their rule over the other one, or they try to assimilate the “weaker” culture into their own. But if history has shown us anything, it is that forcing one people to be like another, when no human rights have been desecrated on, leads to disaster. All that forcing assimilation or instilling a new class separation where the indigenous peoples are below the new comers will do is create tension, strife, and other horrific consequences unique to the time and place.

One of the many effects of colonialism is a lack of national identity, of which many people struggle to discern who they are and what their culture is. One particular example of this is the Philippines.

Ethnocentrism also causes some racism and in different treatment between races in the workplace.


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