Ethnocentrism, an important concept in intercultural communication (IC), has been thoroughly discussed and investigated in present researches and studies. We may regard ethnocentrism as the feeling that one's group has a mode of living, values and patterns of adaptation that are superior to all others. Berry and Kalin concluded that ethnocentrism is lacking acceptance of cultural diversity and intolerance for outgroups. According to Bennett et el. (2004), an individual with ethnocentric views will avoid cultural differences through denying its existence, raising defense against the differences and minimizing its importance. Under such circumstances, potential communication problems could result in misunderstandings (Neuliep & McCroskey,
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Culturally speaking, Hong Kong Chinese believe they are enjoying a cultural supremacy under British education system and Hong Kong is more globalized than any parts of China. Limited exposure and openness towards Mainland Chinese and their cultures caused the IC problems in Hong Kong. Cultural generalization also helps to explain the general distaste of Mainland Chinese in the ways they behave, for example, not following the queues.
In example two, the Australian examiner’ ethnocentric attitude against the American accent gives us several possible implications. Firstly, by showing his intolerance to the outgroup accent, he was protecting his own cultural identity and upholding the superiority of Australian accent. Secondly, the certain degree of anti-americanism on cultural intolerance may come along with the hidden political discontents. For example, the examiner himself might want to show his discontents over Bush Administration and wars on terrorism.
To conclude, ethnocentrism was detrimental to intercultural communications and we should handle it tactfully through enhancing our IC sensitivity and understandings of other cultures.
Bennett, J. M., & Bennett, M. J. (2004). Developing intercultural sensitivity: An Integrative approach to global and domestic diversity. In D. Landis, J. M. Bennett, & M. J. Bennett