TED Conversations

Feyisayo Anjorin

Freelance Director, Afro-Carribean Media Group


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Is it possible for an individual to be without ethnocentrism?

Ethnocentrism involves using the ideas and beliefs of one particular culture to judge other cultures.
It is so similar to pride in the sense that we loath it in other people/cultures; but we are hardly conscious of it in our own culture.
Our beliefs and worldview is as a result of years of living in our community and seeing things done in a particular way; years of familiarity with the material culture, social structure, religion, history, philosophy and ideals.
We usually percieve our culture as the logical, reasonable and normal way to live; and we often wonder "How anyone could ever live like THAT?!"
It is usually the chief enemy of marriages. The husband has grown up in a different home environment, under different circumstances, and with a different experience. He would wonder why the wife is behaving in a certain manner that is contrary to his ways; and so does the wife.

Is ethnocentrism inevitable?


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  • Sep 6 2012: I neglected to thank you for asking the question, Mr. Anjorin. It is in asking questions such as these,....the ones that beg us to contemplate on who we think we are, and in so answering who we think the other is--that human beings learn critical thinking and reasoning skills.

    If we never question our assumptions about what we think we know and why, who we think we are, and how we came to these rock-solid conclusions of ourselves, each other and the world, well... the results are evident to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Yes? No? Perhaps?

    Wisdom comes at a price. Letting go of what we think we know is the *only* truth. From here we can enter into and conduct a dialogue consistent with *human values* under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United nations on December 11, 1948.

    The unfortunate and fortunate thing is that those of us who are familiar with TED already are on the cutting edge of things...the ones dancing to a tune that *others of us* who haven't escaped *our boxes/paradigms* have yet to hear. ;-)

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