Define ethnocentrism and cultural relativism explain the relationship between them

Ethnocentrism - Wikipedia

These two viewpoints are essentially distinct but do share a few similarities between them. What is Ethnocentrism? William G. Summer, an. Culture is the glue that binds people together in society. It can include norms, values, symbols, and more. In this lesson, explore the two major. Read and learn for free about the following article: Cultural relativism article. On the one hand, ethnocentrism can lead to negative judgments of the behaviors of If you try to explain these groupings to someone outside the linguistic cultural context, . You can also use a semicolon to link up two closely related thoughts.

He further clarified that such a view would lead to a sense of pride, vanity, superiority over others, and contempt towards those that are not a part of that group. Ethnocentric individuals believe that their own ethnicity is centrally important and all other cultures and ethnicity must be judged according to the standards of their own culture.

Distinctions are made between different cultures based on language, behavior, customs, traditions, religion, etc.

Cultural relativism: definition & examples (article) | Khan Academy

These distinctions and subjective comparisons impart a cultural identity to each ethnicity. What is Cultural Relativism? The idea was formulated by Franz Boas; however, the term was later introduced by the social theorist, Alan Locke in Cultural relativism is a view that a culture must be judged according to its own cultural standards.

It proposes that all cultures have their own merits and demerits, and hence are of equal value such that there is no concept of cultural superiority. For instance, a particular practice may seem immoral or unethical according to the beliefs of a different culture, but those same practices may be perfectly acceptable and normal with respect to its own culture.

This concept was developed to attempt to overcome ethnocentric bias when conducting anthropological studies. When we talk about coffee in the US, we would think of a large mug, and the coffee would come from a pot of coffee. When Europeans talk about coffee, they are most likely thinking about little espresso cups filled with strong coffee.

What is Cultural Relativism?

How a language affects the way we think about the world is called linguistic relativism or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Linguistic relativism means that there are certain thoughts we have in one language e.

English that cannot be understood by those who exist in another language context e. The way we think is also strongly affected by our native languages.


For example, the Inuits northern aboriginals have dozens of ways to convey the word snow. In English, how many ways can you think of to express snow? Maybe four or five ways? Imagine that we are watching an American teen movie on TV.

The main character walks into the high school cafeteria, and sees the students sitting in a particular arrangement: If you went to an American high school, you may immediately understand what the groupings mean. However, even among those of you that did go to an American high school, the definition of mean girls may be completely different.

Now think, on the other side of the world, a high school student watching this movie in China would be very confused. If you try to explain these groupings to someone outside the linguistic cultural context, it becomes very difficult. Why are people in bands geeks? What is a stoner, can someone be both a nerd and a stoner at the same time? So, learning a language does not mean only learning words.

It also means that we need to learn the cultural contexts that are embedded in the language itself. Languages reflect our cultural experiences.

For example, if you hear someone say that ginger is warm food, and melons are chilly food, in English, it may make little sense. However, for those who are well-versed in Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine will likely understand that warm foods would be good for the sniffles or even rheumatoid arthritis, while chilly foods would be good for constipation or mouth ulcers.

Sometimes doctors in a US hospital are confused when Chinese language speakers express pain symptoms in English as hot and cold. These are all examples of cultural and linguistic differences and the importance of understanding language and culture. Social Disengagement on the Greyhound Bus.

Symbolic Interaction, 35 3 The Relation of Anthropology to Everyday Life. University of California Press. In the Folkways, [11] Sumner stated that "ethnocentrism is the technical name for this view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it" In the War and Other Essays, [12] he wrote that "the sentiment of cohesion, internal comradeship, and devotion to the in-group, which carries with it a sense of superiority to any out-group and readiness to defend the interests of the in-group against the out-group, is technically known as ethnocentrism" Forty years later, anthropologist Richard Adams undertook to clear up a confusion.

He noted that one scholar, G. Murdock, defined ethnocentrism as "the tendency to exalt the in-group and to depreciate other groups," which made out-group antagonism the inevitable concomitant of in-group solidarity, but that another, M.

Herkovits, defined ethnocentrism as "the point of view that one's way of life is to be preferred to all others. The first is in-group consciousness, a sense of communal interests found even in sub-human animals, but the second arises from the processes of socialization and enculturation, and has no counterpart among sub-human groups. Merton commented that "although the practice of seeing one's own group as the center of things is empirically correlated with a belief in superiority, centrality and superiority need to be kept analytically distinct in order to deal with patterns of alienation from one's membership group and contempt for it.

However, since people are accustomed to their native culture, it can be difficult for them to see the behaviors of people from a different culture from the viewpoint of that culture rather than from their own.