The concept of ethnocentrism can be understood in the broadest sense as the feeling that one’s group or society is superior to all other groups and societies. When examining war from a social sciences perspective, the concept of ethnocentrism is useful in adding to an understanding of the cultivation of war. This entry begins by explaining the basic aspects and development of ethnocentrism and then progresses to the application of ethnocentrism in colonialism, the Holocaust, and the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The origins of the concept can be understood from a social-psychological perspective in that humans have an instinctual drive to form groups. In the process of group formation, humans tend to differentiate themselves, which leads to the development of a group identity. An ethnic ...

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