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 was born in post-war Germany of Austro-Hungarian roots. I have a son whose father is Peruvian and daughter whose father is half Choctaw Indian. My only grandson is part Delaware Indian. It's been interesting but never dull. Where we always all agree is in human rights. How did that happen? Perhaps I was blessed. And perhaps it just takes an open mind and an open heart, firmly rooted to Mother Earth and Father Sky, so to speak. .

    Human rights of course takes into account all humans regardless of sex, ancestry, race, colour, creed, national origin, sexual persuasion, ethnicity, familial status or education & economic/social standing.

    It's really simply to be ethnocentric and have globally-conscious values, I think and usually it takes a lot of soul-searching into the question: "Who am I?*

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