Ethnocentrism And Cultural Relativism : How Does It Impede Our Understanding Of Other Cultures?

1230 Words Oct 12th, 2014 5 Pages
Exam 2
1. What is ethnocentrism and how does it impede our understanding of other cultures? What kind of attitude should we take instead? As you form your answer, mention and briefly describe a subculture to which you belong (or in which you have participated) that someone else might be ethnocentric about. Then also mention and briefly describe a subculture to which you do not belong (and that you have not participated in) that you have approached with ethnocentrism in the past. How does your understanding of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism allow you to better understand how people judge others from other cultures and/or subcultures in social interaction?

Ethnocentrism is the process of analyzing other cultures by using one’s own culture as a reference point. This leads to the conclusion that because other cultures are often very different, that they are inferior or peculiar in some way. These wrong conclusions can make communication and inter-cultural understanding difficult, even impossible. A better approach to understanding other cultures is cultural relativism, “understanding other cultures on their own terms, rather than judging or evaluating according to one’s own culture” (Ferris & Stein 78). Cultural relativism draws from the idea of a sociological imagination, and the understanding that the world is home to many cultures, not just one’s own.

At my school, I am heavily involved with the Spanish Honor Society, and many people have interpreted me as Hispanic…

Related Documents