Membership in social groups is more than mere classification; it carries emotional significance as well. Attachment to the groups to which one belongs, or ingroups, and preference for these ingroups over outgroups may be a universal characteristic of human social life. Ethnocentrism refers to this strong predilection for loyalty and preferential treatment of one's ingroups over other groups, and the tendency to judge and evaluate others from the perspective of ingroup norms and practices.

The study of ethnocentrism has a long history in social science research on intergroup relations. Theories of ethnocentrism incorporate evolutionary perspectives, psychodynamic theory, and social psychological theories of group identity. Research on ethnocentrism documents the powerful effects of ingroup attachment on both intragroup and intergroup behavior. This entry briefly reviews ethnocentrism, ...

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