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 8 2012: Ethnocentricty is harmful when it is used to create harm. It is beneficial when used to create well-being in any ethnocentric group. Let it not be at the expense and misery of another ethnocentric group! Isn't that what has happened throughout the ages? Might not we investigate who we really are not who we think we are...based, biased and boasted by our various cultures which by its very definition must include all the i-isms and -ologies shared -in- common but not considered for any modicum of universal truth? ... Why would any of us choose to serve a ranking system/hierarchy that is the very result of these-isms and -ologies?

    Yes, *you and I* know why, don't we?

    Why can't we *grow up* to evolve as a species? And what might that look like in the real world? One of the reasons why is that we are still programmed by our roots....including what it means to be a husband and a wife.

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