The terminology ethnocentrism refers to the tendency of people believing that their race, cultural or ethnic groups are better than all the others. Such individuals measure and judge all the other cultural or ethnic groups in relation to theirs.
These judgments are made in relation to aspects like religion, race, behavior, custom and language. The cultural identity of any ethnic group is uniquely identified by the above mentioned aspects. This attitude makes an individual to view other groups as being inferior in comparison to his or her own. (Wood, 2009, p. 163-173)
How ethnocentrism affects individuals
Ethnocentrism is a bad practice because it leads individuals to make false assumptions about other cultures. Ethnocentrism leads people to making generalizations about the customs and cultures of other people that are not true. This leads to false judgment of others using their own ethnic belonging as the yardstick. At the end of it all, individuals may make harmful judgments concerning other communities.
Ethnocentrism makes people to be rigid to change. Individuals who are ethnocentrism hold to their own culture and they can’t appreciate change that is being brought by modernization. Such individuals may end up remaining illiterate by rigidly holding to their own cultures and not ready to empress change.
Ethnocentrism hinders individuals from learning about other cultures. People who are ethnocentric normally don’t take time to learn about other cultures that exist around the world. This leads them to continuing to make judgments that are uninformed about other ethnic groups.
Ethnocentrism hinders individuals from communicating to individuals of other cultures. This is because such people view others as a lesser people or harmful for example a belief that a certain community is made of witches (Capucao, 2010, p. 219-228). This leads to communication break down within the society.
How ethnocentrism affects societies
There are so many ways that ethnocentrism may affect societies. Ethnocentrism closes the minds of individuals from understanding the way of life and cultures of other people. This may affect social interactions among people of different cultures living in the same geographical area. This may end up affecting the functioning of the social group by making it unstable. The society may exist in fear because the individuals don’t trust one another.
Ethnocentrism may lead to situations that are terrible like deaths and wars in a given country. When communities view others from a negative perspective, it may lead to animosity that may cause ethnic or tribal clashes that may end up leading to several injury and death cases within the society.
The way societies look at history and understand it can also be affected by ethnocentrism. The society may believe that those who lived before them were a foolish generation. This is a false judgment that doesn’t put the time gap factor in consideration.
Ethnocentrism may be good for the society especially if practiced in form of patriotism. A person being proud of their own country is very good for the society. This is because the occupants may be ready to fight for their country under all cost. Being proud of ones culture may even be an attraction to tourist hence income generating.
How ethnocentrism Multinational corporations
Multinational corporations are international corporations that deliver their services in several countries. They are foreign hence owned by people of different cultures while serving and employing locals of different cultures.
Ethnocentrism affects multinational corporations on the way they make their strategies of operating in specific areas. They have to decide who to employ, and how to design their products in a given area. Each area may end up having its own strategy due to ethnocentrism.
International business communication can be effected by dialects and ascents. Business may be affected negatively because of a negative perception of a certain race, dialect or ascents. This may cause harmful effects if not handled with care.
The attitude of ethnocentrism has both positive and negative effects to individuals, society, and multinational companies. While ethnocentrism is good for patriotism, it is important that all individuals and societies appreciate the culture of one another. Such an appreciation leads to peaceful coexistence of individuals and societies with varied backgrounds. This promotes unity in diversity among society members. As a conclusion, there is no culture that is superior to the other worldwide.
Capucao, D. D. (2010). Religion and ethnocentrism-an empirical theological study. Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV.
Wood, J. T. (2009). Communication in our lives. Boston: Cengage Learning press