Cultural Relativity And Ethnocentrism

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Cultural relativity is the idea that culture should be measured by its own value, and not by the value of observer. The cultures of foreign countries tend to be misunderstood by many people. It is an unpleasant realization that there is so much misunderstanding among cultures. Many people have some misconceived ideas about that of their own. I have to admit that I have them too. Example of misunderstanding, my friends asked me a question if there were still Ninjas living in Japan. When I first heard that question, I thought that my friend was joking, but he was not. Another example of misunderstanding is the continued belief that Japanese people still commit ritual suicides upon making mistakes. Like my friends, there are many people who carry such miss concepts about other countries. Misunderstanding will create stereotype, prejudice, and bigotry. That is why we need to increase our knowledge of other cultures.

Exchange system and cross-cultural events are good example of increasing the knowledge of other countries. By understanding their cultures, we could able to approach to their true value.

Ethnocentrism is the misguided belief that one ethnic group is superior to others.

When I first started playing basketball in the United States, I remembered that many Americans did not pass the ball to me. Many Americans stereotype Asians as bad basketball player. This is a good example of negative consequence of ethnocentrism. To overcome this problem, the best way is to show them your skills and change their minds that Asians can also play basketball. Because of nationality, I conceive a prejudice from some people that I cannot play basketball. However, I won't hate these people who have prejudice, because these prejudice is made by the egoistic society that all society have.

Ethnocentrism can create argument, fight, and...