Argumentative Essay On Ethnocentrism

1154 Words 5 Pages
Ethnocentrism occurs everywhere and every day on many different levels. While it can create a cohesive force to keep people in a certain group together, allowing minority groups in oppressive conditions to create an identity for themselves, it is also a major reason for the division among members of different ethnic groups, causing people from one ethnic group to look down on the culture and traditions of another. Ethnocentrism, as William Graham Sumner put, “is the tendency to assume that one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others.” (Schaefer, 2015, pg58) To help understand, Schaefer uses the example of how Westerners who use cattle as a source of food might look down on India and their culture, …show more content…
Media, which has a large influence on how we view issues, likes to portray people in poverty as lazy, drunk, or always making bad choices. It is common belief in the U.S. that people in poverty are that way because of their bad choices, or their lack of effort. Thinking ethnocentrically like this can cause individuals to not see how hard our society makes it for lower class individuals to thrive. My friends family can’t get a higher paying job because they don’t have the education. They don’t have the education because they don’t have enough money to pay for it. They don’t have the money because higher paying jobs won’t hire them. These types of cycles are a good example of the barriers our society induces.

Research into Social Institutions by conflict theorists (Schaefer, 2015) shows that major institutions, such as education, help to maintain the success of the more powerful individuals and groups, while adding to the powerlessness of others. This type of social structure is very unfair and discriminatory towards not only my friends family, but a large sample of the United States population as a whole. By viewing the poverty stricken as below average humans, it not only hurts their financial and educational endeavors, it almost prevents them all
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One of the most well known and horrible examples of ethnocentrism to ever occur was the Holocaust. After Germany lost World War 1 Adolf Hitler, and many others, were looking for a scapegoat to put the blame on. Adolf Hitler decided that Jews, as well as some other groups of people, were Germany’s problem and after gaining power, had them mass executed. Because Judaism 's culture was different, and much of Germany was desperate for a way out of their collapse, Hitler’s idea, which turned into the Holocaust, tortured and killed millions of Jews as a punishment. The Nazi’s percieved themselves as superior to every other race, they called this the master race, or German Aryan. To put it in perspective, would the Buddhists of China also believe Aryans were supreme to themselves? No, because they each have their own ideal based on their own ethnocentrism. The Jews did not deserve the horrific tortures that they received, and this was clearly an extreme case of

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