evaluating other peoples and cultures according to the standards of one’s own culture.
ethnocentrically |-(ə)lē| adverb
ethnocentricity |-ˌsenˈtrisitē| noun
ethnocentrism |-ˌtrizəm| noun
From the Editor…
We belong to the primate species, Homo sapiens. We Homo sapiens are susceptible to claims of separation and superiority. No matter who we are, we imagine that our group is superior to all other groups. Those who do not look like us or talk like us, are automatically considered inferior. This is called ethnocentricity.
Ethnocentricity claims that “we” – whoever “we” might be, whether Anglo-Saxon Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Chinese, Japanese, Africans, or any other group – that “we” – who and what we are, and all we do and identify with – are somehow innately superior to all other groups – that we are the only “real people” – and that all other people are not real. We disavow the value and worth of others because we believe that we are “special”. So for all practical purposes, despite our very fancy high-tech vehicles, weapons and communications devices with all their bells and whistles, we still live in the dark ages of the soul.
We judge by comparing and contrasting others to ourselves, and we elevate ourselves above all others. We rarely challenge our own judgments and perceptions, for in our own eyes, we are always “the best”, always “right”. Self-examination, curiosity and wonder are not welcome in this myopic mindset.