Ethnocentrism

An attitude of superiority about the ethnic group with which one identifies is called ethnocentrism.

Ethnocentrism is the belief that the ethnic group with which one identifies is superior to all others. Consequently, the individual persistently uses membership in his ethnic group as the primary criterion when forming relationships with or evaluating others. Ethnic groups consist of individuals who are bound together, often closely, by a shared cultural structure and sense of ethnic identity. The central and defining feature of an ethnic group may be racial, religious, geopolitical, linguistic, traditional, tribal, or some combination of these characteristics. An ethnic group may be a majority or a minority of a population, and may be relatively dominant or powerless in a society. In varying degrees, ethnocentrism is an attribute of ethnic groups, past and present, throughout the world. The ethnocentric view that other ethnic groups and their members are inferior may be expressed in a number of ways: for example, through prejudice, paternalism, contempt, hate crimes or other acts of violence.

See also Acculturation ; Affiliation ; Cross-cultural psychology ; Enculturation .

Resources

BOOKS

Auestad, Lene. Nationalism and the Body Politic: Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia. London, UK: Karnac Books, 2014.

Bazelon, Emily. Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. New York: Random House, 2013.

Booth, Ken. Strategy and Ethnocentrism. Routledge, 2014.

Deaux, Kay, and Mark Snyder. The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Durrheim, Kevin, and John Dixon. Racial Encounter: The Social Psychology of Contact and Desegregation. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor & Francis, 2012.

Keith, Kenneth D. Cross-Cultural Psychology: Contemporary Themes and Perspectives. Chichester, UK: WileyBlackwell, 2011.