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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 4 2012: From a possibility perspective, yes, there is, 100%. I had written something about this topic in a different conversation.

    There's a book called "On identity" by Amin Maalouf. It basically argues that a person is an amalgamation of all whom he interacts with or the places he visits.
    So, the more well travelled or the more receptive a person is of other cultures and people, the more that person would evolve into a worldly being, and has knowledge or beliefs that are above and beyond his or her own culture, and thus would minimize his judgement on other cultures, as he himself grows.
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      Sep 6 2012: Imad. "In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong" is definitely in my top 10 lists of favorite books. Maalouf goes on to state, and I paraphrase... when we fail to notice the various allegiances{links} that we have with our fellow man; we begin to create an "other" or someone totally diferent and completely isolated from us. It is at this point that stereotyping enters the arena

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