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Ethnocentrism

Definition

Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view the world through the lens of one's own culture. That is, individuals tend to judge others' behaviors, customs, beliefs, and attitudes by their own cultural standards. The phenomenon of ethnocentrism is believed to occur largely because individuals have the greatest awareness and information about their own culture, which erroneously leads them to believe that the norms, standards, and values within their own culture are universally adopted. Ethnocentrism is a general phenomenon that occurs for individuals across most cultures and societies, although the extent to which it occurs may vary.

Background and Research

In 1906, William Graham Sumner, a professor of political and social science at Yale University, first coined the term ethnocentrism. Sumner defined it as the tendency to believe that ...

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