Ethnocentrism

One more point on worldview – because we see things through this window in our minds, we tend to think that it’s the way others pretty much see things. And because of all the shared perspective in the culture around us, or the place where we are from, we have a large group of people who tend to believe that this is the way the world works. This is what is REAL to people who have that particular worldview window. We usually think that there are many things in our worldview that are not only real to us; they are right. This kind of perspective is called ethnocentrism. How would you personally define ethnocentrism?

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The concept of culture started around the late 15th – early 16th centuries, during the European age of exploration. These adventurers were heading out, ships all decked out with supplies and goods from assorted royal majesties. And they were looking for trade routes and new colonies and such, and encountering foreign peoples along the way. Their observations were from an ethnocentric perspective – in this case, the belief that their own cultures were superior and that the peoples they encountered had not only an inferior culture, but often did not have the capacity of what they called higher forms of culture. So a worldview window, if you will, can lead us to interpret things that we see through these panes that were formed by our own experiences.