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 12 2012: I don't think it is possible to be ethnocentrism. It is not natural. If it is possible then there would not be so many wars in the history of humankind post human civilization. Which (wars) are happening even today and will happen in future. Humans are community-centric by nature meaning they feel that their community is superior over the rest, this feeling implicitly creates the boundaries. The most of the population (because nature hardwires this feeling in us for survival) feels the following way 'I am better than others' then 'My family is better than other families' then 'My community is better than other communities' then 'People from my state are better than people of other states' then 'people of my country are better than people of other countries' and this goes on to 'people of this world are better than aliens of other worlds' is it not true? Take this example in sports (it applies to all the fields where you exhibit one can exhibit excellence!), if there is a race between you and your brother you would strive to win the race, if there is a race between your family member and neighbors family member would want your family member to win, you can keep extending the boundaries to whole universe with simple mathematical induction! Forget about humans concept of altruism is NOT a natural selection.

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